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Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One

April 19, 2017, Opinion Filed

B275225

Opinion

 [**263]  JOHNSON, J.—Ruth Featherstone (Featherstone) appeals from summary judgment entered against her on claims that her former employer, defendant and respondent Southern California Permanente Medical Group (SCPMG), refused to rescind her resignation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Gov. Code, § 12940 et seq.)1 and public policy.

Specifically, Featherstone alleged that while working for SCPMG she suffered a “temporary” disability, which arose as a result of a “relatively uncommon side effect of the medication” she was taking in late December 2013; this “adverse drug reaction” allegedly caused Featherstone to suffer from an “altered mental state.” While under the influence of this altered mental state, Featherstone resigned from her position with SCPMG—first, she resigned orally in a telephone conversation [***2]  with her supervisor and then, a few days later, confirmed her resignation in writing in an e-mail to her supervisor. A few days after confirming her resignation in writing, Featherstone requested SCPMG to allow her to rescind her resignation. SCPMG, after [*1155]  considering Featherstone's request, declined to do so. Featherstone then sued, alleging that SCPMG acted with discriminatory animus by refusing to allow her to rescind her resignation.

We affirm for two principal reasons. First, SCPMG's refusal to allow Featherstone to rescind her resignation was not an adverse employment action under the FEHA. Second, Featherstone failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the SCPMG employees who accepted and promptly processed her resignation knew of her alleged temporary disability at the time they took those actions. Because Featherstone failed to present evidence raising a triable issue of material fact about the legality of SCPMG's actions, summary judgment was appropriate.

BACKGROUND

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10 Cal. App. 5th 1150 *; 217 Cal. Rptr. 3d 258 **; 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 362 ***; 17 Accom. Disabilities Dec. (CCH) P17-152

RUTH FEATHERSTONE, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP, Defendant and Respondent.

Subsequent History: Review denied by Featherstone v. S. Cal. Permanente Med. Group, 2017 Cal. LEXIS 5216 (Cal., July 12, 2017)

Prior History:  [***1] APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC551005, Gail R. Feuer, Judge.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

resignation, disability, rescind, accommodation, termination, temporary, rescission, contractual, notice, nondiscriminatory, interactive, confirmed, italics, e-mail, coworker, at-will, discriminatory, paperwork, triable

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Summary Judgment, Burdens of Proof, Movant Persuasion & Proof, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Judgments, Burdens of Proof, Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Actionable Discrimination, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Business & Corporate Compliance, Disability Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Discriminatory Conduct, Disparate Treatment, Scope & Definitions, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Employment Relationships, At Will Employment, Reasonable Accommodations, Reasonable Accommodations, Interactive Process, Wrongful Termination, Public Policy