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Workers’ Comp Determination Does Not Govern Outcome Of Discrimination Case

Kaur v. Foster Poultry Farms LLC, 2022 WL 4243090 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022)

Gurdip Kaur sued her former employer, Foster Farms, for discrimination based on disability and race/national origin, retaliation and violation of the whistleblower statute (Cal. Lab. Code § 1102.5).  Prior to filing this lawsuit, Kaur filed a petition against Foster Farms with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (the “WCAB”), asserting a violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 132a (prohibiting retaliation against an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim).  After the WCAB denied Kaur’s Section 132a claim, Foster Farms filed a successful motion for summary judgment in the civil action, claiming the WCAB’s ruling should be accorded res judicata/collateral estoppel effect.  The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment, holding that the WCAB ruling in favor of Foster Farms did not dispose of Kaur’s claims of disability discrimination, retaliation and violation of the whistleblower statute.  However, the court affirmed summary adjudication of Kaur’s claim of race/national origin discrimination against two supervisors on statute of limitations grounds.

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