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Prohibited discriminatory practices under FEHA

Last updated: November 19, 2023

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) was enacted in California to protect individuals from discrimination. Employers and employees must understand the prohibited practices under FEHA to ensure a safe work environment for all employees. Employers must comply with the laws established by FEHA when it comes to protecting workers against prohibited discriminatory practices in the workplace.

In this article, we will further explore what constitutes prohibited discriminatory practices under FEHA and how employers must abide by these rules to maintain a safe working environment free of discrimination for everyone involved.

Understanding Prohibited Discriminatory Practices Under FEHA

Discrimination is a term that has been used to describe any type of unequal treatment or mistreatment due to one’s race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability and other protected characteristics. It can take many forms in the workplace such as denial of promotion opportunities based on discrimination or lack of fairness in wages and benefits. Discrimination is illegal under California law; The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for any reason listed above.

The goal of FEHA is to ensure equal employment opportunity for all individuals regardless of their protected characteristic status. In order to achieve this aim, it requires employers to treat employees equally irrespective of any particular attribute they may possess. Employers must provide equal access to jobs, training programs and career progression opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, nationality or country of origin etc. Additionally the act also mandates reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities who are otherwise qualified for the job position.

Categories Of Unlawful Discrimination

Prohibited discriminatory practices under FEHA cover a wide range of discriminatory practices in the workplace. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their:

  • race

  • religious creed

  • color

  • national origin

  • ancestry

  • physical disability

  • mental disability

  • medical condition

  • genetic information

  • marital status

  • sex

  • gender identity/expression

  • age (over 40)

  • sexual orientation

  • military and veteran status

Unlawful discrimination can take many forms such as harassment and failure to provide reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual who reports FEHA violations or participates in any investigation regarding discrimination complaints.

All employers must ensure that they comply with FEHA regulations by providing equal employment opportunities and preventing discriminatory behaviors among employees at all levels of the organization. They should create policies prohibiting any type of discrimination or retaliation throughout the company and be prepared to investigate claims promptly and thoroughly when necessary. Furthermore, employers should educate management staff about relevant laws so they understand how to properly handle situations involving potential discrimination or other civil rights issues in the workplace.

Employer Obligations Under FEHA

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers are prohibited from engaging in any form of discrimination, harassment or retaliation against employees. Employers may refuse to hire candidates based on their race, age, religion, disability status, or other protected characteristics; they may pay employees unequally for equal work; they may deny qualified employees with disabilities adequate accommodations to perform essential job functions; they may subject workers to hostile work environments based on their gender identity or sexual orientation; and they may retaliate against those who complain about discrimination. Additionally, employers must ensure that all policies and procedures comply with FEHA's requirements concerning workplace diversity and inclusion.

In order to protect employees under FEHA, employers have certain obligations they must fulfill. These include implementing anti-discrimination policies and procedures, conducting training programs related to preventing discrimination in the workplace, responding promptly when issues arise, maintaining records regarding any violations of laws or regulations related to fair employment and housing practices, reporting annually on the company's compliance initiatives and taking disciplinary action if necessary. Employers must also provide reasonable accommodation for disabled individuals where appropriate. By meeting these obligations, employers can help prevent unlawful discrimination in the workplace.

Remedies For Discrimination

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from engaging in discriminatory practices against any employee or applicant for employment. In the event of a violation, FEHA provides remedies that may be awarded to victims of discrimination. These include back pay, front pay, reinstatement, hiring, promotion, damages for emotional distress and attorneys’ fees.

In addition, the court may order injunctive relief as part of its judgment. This type of remedy is designed to undo the wrongs committed by an employer and prevent similar violations from occurring again in the future. Examples of possible injunctions are changes in policies or procedures; training on anti-discrimination laws; posting notices about rights under FEHA; or requiring periodic reports to document compliance with FEHA rules.

Understanding FEHA Policies To Prevent Discrimination

Discrimination is an all too real problem that can have serious consequences for those who are its victims. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from discrimination in various areas, including hiring, firing, promotion, wages and benefits, harassment, and retaliation. It also requires employers to take reasonable steps to prevent such prohibited discriminatory practices.

Overall, the Fair Employment and Housing Act is an important tool to protect workers from discrimination in the workplace and ensure they are provided with equal opportunities. It’s important to understand the prohibited discriminatory practices under FEHA. Employers should be aware of these prohibited discriminatory practices to ensure their employees are provided with a safe and equitable work environment.

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Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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