Downs v DWP, 58 Cal. App. 4th 1093 (1998)

Michael P. King

Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 1998

Practice Area:Employment / Labor

Outcome:Judgment (order of dismissal) was reversed

Description:APPEAL from a judgment (order of dismissal) of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. David A. Workman, Judge. Reversed. Wells & Thomas and Samuel J. Wells; King, Williams & Hanagami and Michael P. King for Plaintiff and Appellant. James K. Hahn, City Attorney, Thomas C. Hokinson, Chief Assistant City Attorney, Renee J. Laurents and Marie McTeague, Deputy City Attorneys, for Defendants and Respondents. _________________________ A cause of action under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Gov. Code, § 12900 et seq.) must be filed within one year of receipt of a right-to-sue letter from the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH). An employee filed a charge of racial discrimination and harassment against his employer and supervisors with the DFEH and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Pursuant to a worksharing agreement between the DFEH and the EEOC, the charge was processed by the EEOC. The employee filed this FEHA action three months after receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, but more than one year after receiving a right-to-sue letter from the DFEH. The trial court ordered the action dismissed following the sustaining of a demurrer on the ground of statute of limitations. We conclude the one-year statute was equitably tolled during the processing of the employee’s charge by the EEOC. Accordingly, this FEHA action was timely filed. We reverse.