CA SUPREME COURT LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD
California courts hold that an unsuccessful plaintiff that files a lawsuit under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is only liable for the prevailing defendant’s attorneys’ fees if the Court finds that the case was frivolous. However, what about costs? Litigation costs can be substantial and may be a factor in deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit if the unsuccessful Plaintiff must pay the prevailing Defendant’s costs. In Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District, the California Supreme held that the unsuccessful Plaintiff will only be liable for the prevailing defendant’s costs if the case was found to be frivolous. This decision levels the economic playing field between employees and employers. Now potential Plaintiffs might not be scared away from pursuing their rights under FEHA since they are not under the threat of paying the defendant’s costs.