What Does FEHA Stand For In California?
FEHA stands for "Fair Employment and Housing Act." This act is designed to protect workers from unfair employment and housing practices including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. This act is overseen by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In most cases, FEHA applies to both private and public employers who employ five or more workers. However, some parts of FEHA apply to employers no matter how many workers they have.
FEHA Protected Classes
In order to bring a claim under FEHA, a worker must show that they were discriminated against or harassed because of their membership in a "protected class." These classes are essentially categories or characteristics. While some of the classes mirror federally protected classes, California has a few extra. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prevents discrimination and harassment in the following categories:
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Medical conditions
- Military or veteran status
- National origin
- Religious creed
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- Sexual orientation
FEHA Compliance Requirements In The Workplace
The Fair Employment and Housing Act require employers to do certain things to stay in compliance with the law. Under FEHA, employers must create anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and distribute copies of these policies to workers. In addition, the policies must be translated to any language spoken by at least 10 percent of the workforce. Employers are also required to conduct regular training on workplace discrimination and harassment.
What Doesn't Count As Employment Discrimination
Sometimes things might look like employment discrimination when they're not. Employers can choose not to hire someone or to move an employee to another job if:
- The person is unable to perform the job's essential functions
- The person would create an imminent and substantial danger to themself or others
- If it is impossible for the employer to make reasonable accommodation for a worker's disability
Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish whether or not an action is employment discrimination or not. That's when it is important to speak with a licensed California employment lawyer to determine if your rights have been violated.
When Does FEHA Apply?
FEHA doesn't just apply to workers who have already been hired. FEHA works to protect workers in all stages of the employment process by outlawing discrimination in all kinds of business practices including:
- Job postings and advertisements
- Job applications
- Job and applicant screening
- Job interviews
- Hiring, promoting, transferring, terminating, or separating employees
- Workplace conditions, including things like compensation
- Participation in training or apprenticeship programs, employee organizations, or unions
This means that you can have an employment claim against a business or person that was never actually your employer. If you experienced discrimination or harassment at any point in the job search or hiring process, you may have a claim.
When To Talk To A California Employment Lawyer
If you believe that your employer has violated FEHA or any other workplace law, you should call an employment attorney right away. These cases are time-sensitive so it is best to seek legal help as soon as possible. Call Davtyan Law Firm today to speak confidentially with a legal professional about your situation.