No one can dispute under existing California law that a losing FEHA plaintiff can attempt to deflect a costs award by showing hardship--inability to pay. (Knight v. Hayward Unified School Dist., 132 Cal.App.4th 121, 135-136 (2005).)
However, the losing plaintiff got hit with a $30,000 costs award in Johnson v. Pacific International Bearing, Inc., Case No. A129774 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Dec. 27, 2012) (unpublished), a determination that was sustained on appeal. Reason? He failed to provide a detailed argument or evidence that the costs award would constitute a hardship. Given the dearth of proof on this point, the challenge to the costs award was deemed forfeited on appeal.