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The FEHA, employer obligations and the rights of employees

As a California employee, you understand the importance of knowing about your rights and protecting your interests. One of the things you may need to know about is the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. This is an act intended to protect various types of employees from experiencing discrimination or harassment in any aspect of their jobs.

Both state and federal laws protect the interests of workers. In this case, the FEHA requires that employers investigate all instances and allegations of discrimination and harassment promptly and efficiently. If there is basis to the claim, the employer must appropriately discipline the violating party. Under the FEHA, employers must also provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

What do you need to know about the FEHA?

It may be prudent for you to learn about California's FEHA, including what you should expect from your employer and what to do if you believe you are experiencing unfair or inappropriate treatment. The following information about this act may be useful to you:

  • Employers that must adhere to the terms of the FEHA include employment agencies and labor organizations as well as both public and private employers.
  • Employers and businesses should not tolerate harassment in any form against interns, job applicants, volunteers and paid employees, no matter how small the company.
  • Employers cannot use protected categories, such as gender or race, to discriminate against employees or those applying for a job.
  • If a company has five employees or more, it has to provide as many as four months of disability leave for workers temporarily disabled by childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy.
  • Companies with more than 50 employees must provide leave for employees after the birth of a child, adoption or placement of a foster child in the home. 

These are just some of the requirements that employers have to meet per the FEHA for the benefit and protection of the men and women who work for them. Employees who experience mistreatment have the right to take legal action for violations of the FEHA.

If you believe that you are the victim of discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you will find it beneficial to take immediate action to protect yourself. It may be in your interests to initiate a civil claim against your employer, but it can be prudent to first seek guidance from an attorney and an explanation of the specific options available to you.

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