We previously blogged about a pregnancy discrimination verdict against George Lucas that was reversed on appeal: Julie Veronese was well into the hiring process at Lucas’ estate at San Anselmo when she found out she was pregnant and was forced to push back what she had thought was her start date. She filed a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Lucasfilm that also included claims for wrongful termination and failure to prevent workplace discrimination.
Veronese claims that she was terminated from her intended position at the San Anselmo estate because of her pregnancy, in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
Veronese and her attorney were awarded over $1 million in damages and fees; the appeals court sent the case back for retrial because of what it considered error in applying anti-pregnancy discrimination law to the case. Rather than retrying her case, Veronese is asking the California Supreme Court to review the decision of the appellate court, which she and her attorney believe conflicts with well-settled employment law in California.
The appeals court denied a rehearing on the Veronese’s claim. A rehearing would have been an opportunity for the court to review its own decision and correct any errors. Attorneys for Lucasfilm believe that the estate acted lawfully in terminating Veronese’s employment and that the Supreme Court will find that the appellate court’s decision was correct.
The California Supreme Court has at least 60 days to consider whether to grant or deny Veronese’s request for review. If at least four justices vote to review the outcome of Veronese’s pregnancy discrimination claims, the case will proceed to the Supreme Court.
Source: Mercury News, “Lucasfilm pregnancy discrimination case appealed to state Supreme Court,” January 21, 2012