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Appellate Victories

Victories in the Appellate Courts

Phil Horowitz represents employees not only at trial and before, but also in the appellate courts. Here are documents and information about some of the victories Mr. Horowitz has won in the appellate courts.

Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243

Iftikhar Nazir is one of the most courageous and inspiring employees I have represented in my 30 years of fighting for employee rights.

During his 16 years at United Airlines, Mr. Nazir complained repeatedly of being cruelly harassed and discriminated against because of his Muslim faith. In 2001, after a long struggle, he became the first person of color to ever supervise mechanics in his department.

Mr. Nazir complained that his promotion triggered increased harassment, intense scrutiny, discipline, retaliation and finally discharge.

Defendants filed a summary judgment motion that the Court of Appeal said was “what may well be the most oppressive motion ever presented to a superior court.”  Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243, 248.  The trial court bought defendant’s arguments and threw Mr. Nazir’s case out of court.

Iftikhar Nazir did not give up. He appealed. In a very detailed published opinion, the Court of Appeal ruled “There was plenty of evidence here.  The trial court just did not see it.” Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243, 284.

The published appellate opinion has made a huge difference for California employees fighting summary judgment motions. Among many other things, the Court of Appeal ruled “many employment cases present issues of intent, and motive, and hostile working environment, issues not determinable on paper. Such cases, we caution, are rarely appropriate for disposition on summary judgment…”  Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243, 286.

Andersen v. Safeway (1998)

A supermarket chain had six grocery stores in the North Coast region of California. It required the four managers over 40 (including my three clients) to transfer to another region (and thereby have to move their families) or be demoted, while letting the two younger managers remain.

The Court of Appeal found there was enough evidence for a jury to find that the three managers I represented were forced out of their North Coast grocery store manager positions because of age.

After a 10-day trial, the jury concluded that a large grocery chain had made a promise to a store manager I represented without intending to perform it. The jury awarded $429,137 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. The Court of Appeal upheld the jury’s decision.