Appeals Court Rules San Francisco Must Answer Claims of Age Discrimination Against Disabled Former Employees - Aiman-Smith & Marcy
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Appeals Court Rules San Francisco Must Answer Claims of Age Discrimination Against Disabled Former Employees

November 05, 2019

San Francisco, California, October 31, 2019 – The California Court of Appeal has ruled that the City and County of San Francisco must answer age discrimination claims brought by plaintiff Joyce Carroll.

Ms Carroll has alleged the following form of age discrimination in retirement benefits:
Two women work for San Francisco and are identical except that at hiring, one is 18 years old, the other 43. They both put in 15 years of service, retired due to disabilities, and were granted disability retirement. Except for their ages at hiring, these two women are the same, yet San Francisco treats them differently when paying them retirement benefits. San Francisco pays the younger woman retirement benefits equal to 33.333% of her final income. By contrast, the older woman receives just 25.125% of her final income.
That older woman is Ms Carroll, the plaintiff in a proposed class action lawsuit filed in 2017 against San Francisco. The trial court had thrown out Ms Carroll’s claims on Statute of Limitations grounds, concluding that Ms Carroll should have filed suit when she retired some 16 years prior.
The California Court of Appeal reversed, and held with regard to California’s law prohibiting age discrimination in employment that an actionable violation occurs “each time plaintiff receives a discriminatory [retirement benefit] payment, such that a new limitations period applies to each allegedly discriminatory check.” (Opinion at 6.)
The Court also categorically rejected San Francisco’s immunity claims. (Opinion at 19-20.)

Brent A. Robinson, lead counsel for the plaintiff and an associate attorney with law firm Aiman- Smith & Marcy, commented: “We are very grateful for the Court of Appeal’s well-reasoned opinion.”

Reed W.L. Marcy, a partner with Aiman-Smith & Marcy, added, “This decision confirms the basic principle of California law that all workers are entitled to equal pay for equal work, no matter their age at hiring or membership in any other protected classification. It is also a resounding win for our clients, who have been denied fair pay by San Francisco’s allegedly discriminatory disability retirement plans.”

The case is Joyce Carroll et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-17-562580, First District Case No. A155208.

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Aiman-Smith & Marcy is a boutique law firm based in Oakland, California, focusing on consumer fraud, employment, and class action lawsuits. Their team of lawyers works cooperatively, offering their unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of employees, consumers, and investors. Aiman-Smith & Marcy can be contacted online at, or by calling (510) 817-2711 or (800) 798-8498.