For decades, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) has prohibited workplace discrimination and harassment in California. Among the latest update to this Act are a series of amendments that took effect last month.
Because these new amendments impact various aspects of the FEHA – and workers’ rights and protections under this Act, below we have answered some of the most common questions about these updates.
While the following answers provide more insight regarding workers’ rights in California, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Los Angeles employment attorney at Urbanic & Associates when you need answers about how to fight back after being victimized by workplace discrimination or harassment.
Answer about the New FEHA Amendments
Q – What issues do the new FEHA amendments cover?
A – A number of different employment issues, including (but not exclusive to):
- Definitions of “sex” and “gender” to clarify what constitutes gender harassment – The new definitions include explanations of “gender expression,” “transgender,” and “gender identity.”
- Protections for interns and volunteers (i.e., unpaid workers)
- The terms for pregnancy disability leave, clarifying workers’ options for taking this leave
- Anti-bullying training requirements for employers
- New written policy requirements for employers.
Q – Do the new amendments alter the definition of “covered” employer?
A – Yes. Per the terms of the new amendments, covered employers are those who have at least five (5) employees (same as before) and who have at least one employee working in California (new).
In other words, employers only have to staff one worker in the state of California (and have a total of at least 5 workers) in order to be covered by the FEHA. This expands the Act’s protections significantly.
Q – What about the enforcement actions or options DFEH can take?
A – These have also been enhanced by the latest FEHA amendments, as the DFEH is now empowered to take preventative actions (instead of just reacting after workers’ rights have allegedly been violated). This means that DFEH authorities can “seek preventative remedies” when covered employers are not in compliance with the FEHA – regardless of whether discrimination or harassment has already occurred in their workplaces.
To read the complete text of the updated FEHA, click here.
Contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Urbanic & Associates
If you have been the target of workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation, you can turn to a trusted Los Angeles employment attorney at Urbanic & Associates for help defending your rights and pursuing justice. Since 2000, our lawyers have been dedicated, aggressive advocates for our clients, helping them stand up to even the most formidable opponents in any legal setting.
To discuss your options for justice and recovery, call (310) 216-0900 or send our firm an email using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Los Angeles, Attorney James Urbanic provides superior representation to clients throughout Los Angeles County and southern California, including (but not limited to) those in Glendale, Burbank, Alhambra, Van Nuys, Santa Monica and Orange County.