California Court Holds Work Comp Exclusivity Rule Does Not Preempt Claim For Emotional Distress Under FEHA Featured

  17 August 2017

The California Court of Appeal, 4th District, has affirmed that the workers’ compensation exclusivity rule does not preempt employees’ emotional distress claims arising from discrimination or retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

According to the court, discrimination or retaliation is conduct that falls outside the normal risks inherent in the employment relationship and so the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress arising from such conduct is not preempted by the exclusivity rule. Specifically, the court held “we are unwilling to abandon the longstanding view that unlawful discrimination and retaliation in violation of FEHA falls outside the compensation bargain and therefore claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress based on such discrimination and retaliation are not subject to workers' compensation exclusivity.” Read more here.