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What Employment Discrimination Looks Like

June 27, 2024 | Employment Law

Employment discrimination can take many forms and is illegal under various state laws, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Understanding what constitutes employment discrimination is crucial for both employees and employers to ensure a fair and equitable workplace.

State Laws Barring Discrimination Apply to All Business Practices

These laws cover a wide range of business practices, including:


  • Advertisements: Ensuring job postings do not exclude or deter individuals from protected categories.
  • Applications, Screening, and Interviews: Fair and unbiased processes that do not discriminate against any applicant.
  • Hiring, Transferring, Promoting, Terminating, or Separating Employees: All employment decisions must be free from discrimination.
  • Working Conditions, Including Compensation: Equitable working conditions and pay for all employees.
  • Participation in Training or Apprenticeship Programs, Employee Organizations, or Unions: Equal opportunity for growth and participation in all organizational activities.

Who Does FEHA Apply To?

The FEHA applies to both public and private employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies. It is illegal for employers with five or more employees to discriminate against job applicants and employees based on a protected category or to retaliate against them for asserting their rights under the law.


Prohibition of Harassment

Harassment based on a protected category is strictly prohibited by the FEHA, and this protection extends to:

– Employees

– Job applicants

– Unpaid interns or volunteers

– Contractors


Importantly, this prohibition applies to all workplaces, even those with fewer than five employees.


California Family Rights Act (CFRA)


Under the CFRA, employers with five or more employees must provide eligible employees with job-protected leave for various reasons, including:


– Caring for a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with a serious health condition

– The employee’s own serious health condition

– Bonding with a new child by birth, adoption, or foster care placement within one year of the child’s arrival

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Employers with five or more employees are required to provide up to four months of disability leave for employees who are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.


Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

Employers with five or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees. The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) accepts complaints if an employer has not complied with these training and education requirements.


If you believe you have experienced employment discrimination or harassment, it’s important to seek legal advice. Our firm specializes in plaintiff employment law, and we are here to help you navigate your rights and options under the law. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving justice and fairness in