County of Fresno v. Fair Employment and Housing Commission of the State of California

On appeal, a Superior Court judge ruled that the California Fair Employment Commission proceeded in excess of its jurisdiction by awarding compensatory damages to two county employees who claimed that workplace smoking aggravated their respiratory conditions. The Court ruled that, because the Fair Employment and Housing Act does not authorize a jury trial for employers who are tried before an administrative law judge, an award of damages would deprive the employer of due process.  The Court also ruled that the Commission abused its discretion in finding that the employees were not “reasonably accommodated” by the county’s efforts, made prior to the adoption of a 1983 no-smoking ordinance, to reduce their exposure to smoke.

4.7 TPLR 2.100, No. 374141-0, (Sup. Ct., CA., County of Fresno, 1989).