EHS: California Appellate Court holds that Wi-Fi sickness is a disability
vrijdag, 26 maart 2021 - Categorie: Juridische Informatie
Bron 1: betweenrockandhardplace.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/ehs-california-appellate-court-holds-that-wi-fi-sickness-is-a-disability/
24 febr. 2021
The case of EHS (Wi-Fi sickness) in California is of importance and of interest to a broader readership. It is a very good news for all EHS persons but… will be seen what will happen next...I am re-posting text from the US website of LEXOLOGY.
Bron 2: www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=52d76fb5-7915-485b-a3bb-277637a32a5f
USA February 23, 2021
Is Wi-Fi sickness a disability? The California Court of Appeal just said it is in Brown v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2d Dist., Div. Eight), Case No. B294240. In a case that tests the limits of California’s liberal pleading standard, the appellate court green-lighted a claim of a woman who asserted a disability of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” or, as the concurring justice put it, “Wi-Fi sickness.”
The trial court had sustained a demurrer, granting judgment for the employer, a school district. The appellate court revived the plaintiff’s claim for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.
The court acknowledged that it is likely the first to recognize Wi-Fi sickness as a disability under laws against discrimination. In fact, the court discussed contrary federal court authority, distinguishing those cases by concluding that the definition of “disability” in California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act is broader than in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Apart from the holding that Wi-Fi sickness is a disability under FEHA, California employers should take note of the facts alleged about the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation.
After the school district installed a new Wi-Fi system, the plaintiff teacher complained of headaches and other symptoms caused by exposure to the electromagnetic waves. The school district initially tried to accommodate the teacher by turning off the Wi-Fi in her classroom and an adjacent one. The teacher said that her symptoms persisted and asked for additional accommodations. By that point, the school district’s consultant had reported that the Wi-Fi and radio frequencies at the school “evidenced a safe and non-hazardous working environment.” Based on that report, the school district did not grant any further accommodation, and the teacher sued.
In his concurring opinion, Justice Wiley expressed reluctance “about giving any sort of green light to this unprecedented and unorthodox disability claim.” But that’s exactly what the court did.
The decision serves as a reminder of just how easy it is to survive a pleading challenge in California.
The full verdict is accessible from this link.
Bron 3: scholar.google.co.uk/scholar_case?case=3952106716981452997&q=Brown+v.+Los+Angeles+Unified+School+District&hl=en&as_sdt=2006&as_vis=1 .
JML Law Wins Appeal in 'Unprecedented' Disability Case Against LAUSD For Failure to Accommodate Teacher With Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
Brown v. LAUSD establishes that symptoms of 'electromagnetic hypersensitivity' a.k.a. 'Microwave Sickness' could be deemed a 'physical disability' under the FEHA
Bron 4: www.accesswire.com/viewarticle.aspx?id=637661&token=hzivngfkuma2h2xz6rhu
LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / March 26, 2021 / Today, JML Law announced it has won a major appeal in the California Court of Appeal that establishes that a plaintiff who pleads symptoms and physical manifestations of ''electromagnetic hypersensitivity'' has adequately alleged that they suffer from a ''physical disability'' under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (''FEHA'').
In the majority opinion handed down in the case, Brown v. LAUSD (Appeal No. B294240), the Court of Appeal recognized that it doesn't matter whether or not other courts in the United States have recognized ''electromagnetic hypersensitivity'' as a disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (''ADA'') because JML Law's client, Laurie Brown, has brought her case not under the ADA, but under FEHA, which is broader in scope. The Court of Appeal held that Brown sufficiently alleged that she suffered from a physical disability under the FEHA and that she sufficiently stated a cause of action for failure to accommodate, where she alleged that LAUSD refused to honor an accommodation which LAUSD had agreed to provide to Brown. The Court of Appeal stated that based on their reading of Brown's First Amended Complaint, ''LAUSD's actions here do not align with those of an employer taking positive steps to accommodate the employee's limitations.''
The complete published opinion by the Court of Appeal can be accessed at www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B294240.PDF.
JML Law represents Brown, a former middle school teacher who had worked for LAUSD for decades and had hoped to continue teaching there for years to come. However, that was made impossible because LAUSD allegedly refused to accommodate her in returning to the classroom. As a result of not being accommodated, her employment with LAUSD ended.
In 2015, LAUSD installed and began operating a new Wi-Fi system at Millikan Middle School, where Brown worked, despite several medical personnel who allegedly indicated during public school board hearings that they were uncertain about the long-term effects the Wi-Fi system would have on students and staff. Shortly after the new commercial-grade Wi-Fi was installed, Brown allegedly began to experience chronic pain, headaches, nausea, itching, burning sensations on her skin, ear issues, shortness of breath, inflammation, heart palpitations, respiratory complications, foggy headedness, and fatigue.
Allegedly, LAUSD granted Brown's first request for accommodation, although it turned out to be ineffective. She made a second request for accommodation which the school district initially denied, but then granted Brown's second request, only to allegedly stall for over a year before ultimately reneging on the approved accommodation altogether.
''JML Law firm is proud to be bringing justice for Ms. Brown, a dedicated middle-school teacher who was simply trying to do the job she loved,'' said Jennifer Lipski, lead attorney on the case and partner at JML Law.
Lipski is a partner at JML Law who heads the law and motion and appellate department. She started with JML Law while still in law school, but her passion for employment law developed during college when she began researching employee rights and empowered herself with her employer. She then wrote her honors thesis on sexual harassment in the workplace. Jennifer graduated cum laude, with honors, from the University of Arizona. She received the President's Award for Excellence and the University's Provost Scholarship. Jennifer graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law, and since becoming a lawyer has specialized in all aspects of employment law, and has successfully resolved hundreds of cases for her clients.
About JML Law
Joseph M. Lovretovich is widely regarded as one of California's top trial lawyers, and 100% of his practice is devoted to litigation. JML Law is in the forefront of representing individuals who are subject to all types of employment discrimination. JML Law also focuses on personal injury and workers' compensation. For more information, please call (818) 835-5735, or visit http://www.jmllaw.com.
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