California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fourth Division
APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Super. Ct. No. BC444418 David L. Minning, Judge.
Mancini & Associates, Marcus A. Mancini, Timothy J. Gonzales, Michael R. Fostakowsky; Benedon & Serlin, Gerald M. Serlin, and Kelly R. Horwitz for Plaintiff and Appellant.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Michele L. Maryott, and Joseph A. Gorman for Defendants and Respondents.
Camargo v. California Portland Cement Co. (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 995 (Camargo), held that a labor arbitration pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has no preclusive effect on a claim pursuant to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Government Code section 12940 et seq., unless the parties expressly agreed to arbitrate FEHA claims. (Camargo, at p. 1008.) On appeal, Calvin Wade contends this holding should be extended to common law claims related to the FEHA, such as a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. We disagree, as there is no comprehensive statutory scheme applicable to FEHA-related common law claims comparable to the FEHA. In the alternative, appellant contends the arbitration had no preclusive effect, as it did not address his racial discrimination claim. We conclude the arbitration encompassed that claim. Accordingly, we affirm the grant of a summary judgment in favor of respondents Marine Terminals Corporation and Ports America Management Corporation (collectively MTC) on appellant’s cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Appellant, an African-American male, was employed as a steady vessel planner by MTC. Appellant was a member of Local 63 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU or the Union). The ILWU is certified as the exclusive bargaining representative for longshore employees employed by MTC.
As a member of Local 63, appellant was subject to a CBA, the pacific coast longshore and clerks’ agreement contract document for clerks and related classifications (PCCCD). Section 13.1 of the PCCCD prohibited discrimination against union members. It provided in pertinent part: “There shall be no discrimination... either in favor of or against any person because of membership or nonmembership in the Union, activity for or against the Union or absence thereof, race, creed, color, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation), age (forty or over), national origin, religious or political beliefs, disability, protected family care or medical leave status, veteran status, political affiliation or marital status. Also prohibited by this policy is retaliation of any kind for filing or supporting a complaint of discrimination or harassment.”
The PCCCD required Union members to submit any grievances related to their employment to binding arbitration. Section 13.2 of the PCCCD provided in pertinent part: “All grievances and complaints alleging incidents of discrimination or harassment... in connection with any action subject to the terms of this Agreement based on race, creed, color, sex... or alleging retaliation of any kind for filing or supporting a complaint of such discrimination or harassment, shall be processed solely under the Special Grievance/Arbitration Procedures For The Resolution of Complaints Re Discrimination and Harassment Under the Pacific Coast Longshore & Clerk’s Agreement....”
On September 5, 2008, appellant was laid off. He was the fourth steady vessel planner released by MTC that year. Jeff Blaschko, the manager who made the decision to release appellant, stated that he selected appellant because of his poor work performance. At the time appellant was released, he had more seniority than three of the six steady vessel planners MTC retained.
Following his release, appellant filed a grievance alleging that he had been laid off in violation of the PCCCD. In his written grievance, he stated:
“Section 18 of the PCC[C]D Contract has a Good-Faith Guarantee. The following planners were hired and laid off according to seniority, with the exception of myself: [Names].
“There are three Planners with less seniority than myself that are still employed at MTC. Section 13 of the PCC[C]D Contract has been violated, and ...