August 28, 2015 - Kimberli Hirst was an employee of American Forensic Nurses, Inc. During the course of her job she provided Phlebotomist services to the Oceanside Police Department. While providing these services, she claims an Oceanside Police Officer sexually harassed her. In response, she sued the City of Oceanside.In Hirst v. City of Oceanside, 236 Cal. App. 4th 774 (2015), a jury awarded Hirst $1.5 million. The trial court reduced the amount to $1.25 million.
The City filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) asserting that Hirst was not a City employee, a special employee or an individual providing services as outlined in a contract. The City’s JNOV motion was denied by the trial court and the Court of Appeal affirmed the ruling. They held Hirst was providing services as pursuant to a contract, according to California code (Cal. Gov’t Code § 12940(j)(1)) even though she, herself, wasn’t an independent contractor, but an employee of a company who was hired on to provide services through a contract with the city.