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Court Upholds Awards for Emotional Distress

July 30, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A state commission can grant emotional-distress awards to housing discrimination victims, the California Supreme Court has ruled.

The court upheld an order from the Fair Employment and Housing Commission that landlord Nancy Konig pay Sheryl Annette McCoy $10,000 for unjustly refusing to rent a duplex unit. The commission said Konig's refusal to McCoy, who is black, had been racially motivated. Konig appealed, arguing that only courts can make emotional-distress awards.

The commission has awarded emotional-distress damages to housing and labor discrimination victims since 1992. In its 6-1 opinion Monday, the Supreme Court said the Legislature had given the commission such power.

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