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Tips on Complying with Workplace Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Laws in California

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

California has robust laws addressing harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Here are some helpful reminders for employers.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) protects employees from illegal discrimination and harassment in employment based on your actual or perceived:

· Ancestry

· Age (40 and above)

· Color

· Disability (physical, mental, HIV and AIDS)

· Genetic Information

· Gender Identity, Gender Expression

· Marital Status

· Medical Condition (genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer)

· Military or Veteran Status

· National Origin (includes language use and possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law)

· Race (including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles. Protective hairstyles includes, but is not limited to, such hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists)

· Religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices,)

· Sex/Gender (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions)

· Sexual Orientation

Employers with five or more employees must provide interactive training against sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention to all employees (supervisors and non-supervisors). Every two years, supervisors must receive at least two hours of training and non-supervisors must receive at least one hour training. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) provides for free training on its website.

Employers must also provide its employees with written anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. Posters and fact sheets are available with the DFEH free of charge.

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