In the recent federal case of White v. City of Pasadena (9th Cir. 08-57012 1/17/12) the federal court ruled that it would not re-hear the same claims brought and lost in state court by a disgruntled employee.
After being terminated from the City of Pasadena Police Department and subsequently being reinstated, Karin White filed a lawsuit in state court alleging she was both discriminated against and harassed by the City of Pasadena because the City allegedly perceived she had a disability. After Ms. White was terminated a second time, she filed similar discrimination and harassment claims in an administrative proceeding. Ms. White added claims for retaliatory termination at the administrative level as well. Both the state case and the administrative hearing resulted in favorable decisions for the City of Pasadena. Ms. White then filed in federal court on the same theories which were litigated in the state court and administrative proceedings. The federal court concluded that California principles of issue preclusion (that is, the legal theory that the claims were previously decided) prevented the federal court from hearing those claims anew.
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