Carter v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 4th App. Dist., Case No. E030908

This case should teach all who read it the value of a good legislative intent research firm.

The Court of Appeal held that the legislative amendment rejecting the Salazar interpretation of sexual harassment liability under FEHA was not retroactive. The Court held also that this amendment was not a mere clarification, but, rather was a change in the law because it changed the possible liable parties to only employers and the possible bases of harassment from any FEHA-prohibited kind to only sexual harassment.
We find that applying the amendment retroactively is constitutionally objectionable. Constitutional considerations of due process require that citizens be fairly apprised of laws affecting their conduct. Here, the import of the amendment is to impose substantial new obligations on employers, and to impose such liability, without clear notice, for conduct which was already completed in the past.

Judgment of of the trial court is REVERSED.