Fitzsimons v. California Emergency Physicians Med. Group, 205 Cal. App. 4th 1423 (2012)

Mary Fitzsimons is an emergency physician and a member of the California Emergency Physicians (“CEP”) partnership. After Fitzsimons’s appointment as a regional director was terminated, she filed suit alleging she had been removed in retaliation for reports she had made to her supervisors that certain officers and agents of CEP had sexually harassed female employees of CEP’s management and billing subsidiaries. At trial, the jury determined that Fitzsimons was a partner and not an employee of CEP, and the trial court then entered judgment in favor of CEP on the ground that a partner has no standing to assert a claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that FEHA makes it unlawful for CEP to retaliate against “any person” for opposing harassment, including a partner. See also Rickards v. United Parcel Serv., 206 Cal. App. 4th 1523 (2012) (employee’s attorney’s verification of the online complaint to the DFEH is sufficient to exhaust administrative remedies).