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What exactly is discrimination in California?

Workplaces are intended to be protected, productive environments where employees and visitors can expect support and safety. California and the federal government observe many laws that maintain workers' rights in all types of employment.

Employers and managers may unfortunately occasionally engage in discrimination against employees, restricting their access to meaningfully engage with their work. There may be a variety of bases for discrimination, and several are specific causes for action under California law.

  • What types of discrimination are specifically illegal in California?

The state's Fair Employment and Housing Act outlaws discrimination by religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation or military status.

  • What are examples of discrimination in the workplace?

Employees must have allowances for disabilities so they can complete their work and engage with their co-workers. For example, deaf employees may require interpreters, and those who speak other languages than English may not be prohibited from it.

  • What if I think I'm being discriminated against in a different way?

California anti-discrimination law is often interpreted more broadly than federal statutes. Disability discrimination and sexual harassment are particular examples of this breadth. If employers are not making reasonable allowances for an employee or resident, discrimination may exist for other reasons.

Legal representation is often helpful if employees or former employees are weighing options against a possible case of discrimination. Consider a legal advocate if you are seeking a settlement or court action against a discriminatory practice or incident.

Source: Workplace Fairness, "Filing a Discrimination Claim," accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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