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CONLIN v. MISSION FOODS CORP.

May 2, 1994

JOHN CONLIN, Plaintiff,
v.
MISSION FOODS CORP., et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM H. ORRICK

 The motion of defendants, Mission Foods Corporation, Tecnica Empresarial Corporativa Monterrey S.A. de C.V., Gruma Corporation and Ralph Vallejo, having come before the Court on April 14, 1994, the Court having considered the parties' pleadings, and for the reasons hereinafter stated, defendants' motion for summary judgment is DENIED in part and GRANTED in part.

 I.

 In January of 1991, Mission Foods Corp. ("Mission Foods") hired John Conlin ("Conlin") as a warehouseman. Conlin suffers from cerebral palsy. Conlin claims that warehouse supervisor Ralph Vallejo ("Vallejo") harassed him and denied him work hours equal to other employees. Vallejo terminated Conlin's employment on September 4, 1991.

 In response, Conlin filed a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on February 7, 1992. Five months later, pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement governing the warehouse, Mission Foods reinstated Conlin as a "seniority employee." (Defs.' P. & A. at 8.) Conlin filed his first judicial complaint against Mission Foods, its parent companies, *fn1" and Vallejo on September 22, 1992 in Contra Costa County Superior Court. The Superior Court complaint concerned solely the events culminating in Conlin's termination by Mission Foods in September 1991.

 Conlin claims to have suffered continuing discrimination and retaliation subsequent to his reinstatement in July, 1992. He also contends that Mission Foods failed to reasonably accommodate him. He filed a second charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on February 9, 1993, and amended his Superior Court complaint to include allegations concerning events that occurred after his reinstatement. Mission Foods removed the amended complaint to this Court.

 In his amended complaint, Conlin alleges three causes of action: (1) employment discrimination in violation of California Government Code § 12940, (2) employment discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and (3) wrongful termination and retaliation in violation of California public policy.

 Mission Foods, based on evidence obtained through discovery, claims that Conlin falsified his employment application and now moves for summary judgment as to each of plaintiff's causes of action.

 II.

 Mission Foods grounds its motion for summary judgment on two independent arguments: (1) that Conlin has not suffered a compensable injury according to the doctrine of after-acquired evidence, and (2) that the ADA cannot be enforced retroactively to violations preceding its enactment.

 A.

 After-Acquired Evidence

 1. Legal Standards.

 The doctrine of after-acquired evidence allows a defendant employer in an employment discrimination action to use evidence of a plaintiff employee's misconduct, acquired after the employer's alleged violations, to demonstrate that the plaintiff has not been injured by the alleged discriminatory acts. Federal courts have taken two principal ...


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