Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Appellant employee challenged the order of the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco (California), which granted summary judgment for appellee employer, and dismissed appellant’s action, arising from appellant’s termination, which alleged violation of public policy, race discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act , Cal. Gov’t. Code § 12940(a), breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith.

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Overview

Appellant employee worked for appellee employer for eight years during which time he was promoted, given raises and bonuses, and given highly favorable reviews. After unsuccessfully attempting to obtain loan approval from appellee for a Greek national who held both Greek and U.S. passports, appellant began suffering harassment from his superiors. Appellant brought a wrongful termination action after he was fired, alleging that he was fired in retaliation for complaining about appellee’s allegedly discriminatory lending practices. The trial court granted summary judgment for appellee and dismissed appellant’s case. On appeal, the court reversed the summary judgment granted as to appellant’s breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing causes of action, holding that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to these two claims. It affirmed summary judgment on appellant’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov’t. Code § 12940(a), and public policy claims, because refusing credit to dual citizenship applicants did not violate public policy per se and appellant did not exhaust administrative remedies with regard to his § 12940(a) claim.

Outcome

The court reversed summary judgment on appellant employee’s breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing claims, because issues of material fact existed as to those claims. The court affirmed as to appellant’s public policy and statutory discrimination claims because denying loans to applicants with dual citizenship did not per se a violate public policy and administrative remedies had not been exhausted.