It will come as no surprise to employers that summary judgment (essentially, throwing out a case before trial) in employment cases in state court is hard to get. State judges are typically reluctant to grant such a motion, which means cases get scheduled for trial — an expensive and uncertain proposition at best for employers.
When employers do get summary judgment, their victories may be shortlived. Just ask the employer in the case of Li v. Canberra Industires (download here), which will be officially released on March 27, 2012.
In that case, the employer had criticized the plaintiff for many months on her performance and the employer had the documentation to support it. In fact, she was told that if her performance didn’t improve, she could be fired. She was transfered to a new supervisor.