Fermino (plaintiff) worked as a salesclerk in a store owned by Fedco, Inc. (Fedco) (defendant). After a theft at the store, the store manager called Fermino to a windowless room and interrogated her about the theft. Security personnel were also present in the room. The manager demanded that Fermino confess to the theft and did not allow her to leave for an extended period of time. Fermino brought a civil suit against Fedco for false imprisonment. The trial court sustained Fedco’s demurrer to the complaint on the ground that the exclusivity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act barred the claim. Under these provisions, employees suffering injury at work could not sue their employer, but instead had to seek recovery through the workers’ compensation framework. The Court of Appeal of California affirmed. Fermino appealed.