• Kevin Salute

Use of Comparative Evidence in FEHA Cases is Affirmed

A recent case in the California 1st Appellate District affirmed the use of comparative evidence to prove discrimination and# discussed what type of evidence constitutes “comparative evidence.” Comparative evidence is “evidence that [the plaintiff] was treated differently from others who were similarly situated” but are outside the plaintiff’s protected class. (Iwekaogwu, supra, 75 Cal.App.4th at p. 817; Guz v. Bechtel National, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 317, 366 (Guz).) “To be probative,” “comparative data . . . must be directed at showing disparate treatment between employees [who] are ‘similarly situated’ to the plaintiff in all relevant respects. [Citations.]” (Iwekaogwu, supra, 75 Cal.App.4th at p. 817; Guz, supra, 24 Cal.4th at p. 369.) In general, “individuals are similarly situated when they have similar jobs and display similar conduct.” (Vasquez v. County of Los Angeles (9th Cir. 2003) 349 F.3d 634, 641; Wills v. Superior Court (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 143, 172.)

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