Jenkins v. County of Riverside – Case Brief Summary (California)

In Jenkins v. County of Riverside (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 593, the County of Riverside terminated the employment of plaintiff, who was a temporary employee, after she requested reasonable accommodation for a disability, due to the fact that she had exceeded the number of hours under the salary ordinance.

The plaintiff in Jenkins filed a complaint against the County for violation of her civil rights (42 U.S.C. § 1983), breach of the collective bargaining agreement, and violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The trial court concluded that temporary employees whose terms of employment have expired have no right to reasonable accommodation where that accommodation would extend the employment beyond the statutory limit. Summary judgment was entered in favor of the County, and was affirmed on appeal.

The Court held that the plaintiff was not a regular, permanent employee, despite the fact she had worked in excess of 1,000 hours, and could be terminated at any time for any reason. (Jenkins v. County of Riverside, supra, 138 Cal.App.4th at p. 616.)

"As a matter of California law, the mere lapse of time that an employee occupies a position designated as 'temporary' is not sufficient,