State and federal laws prohibit discrimination or harassment based upon sex, age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, ancestry, or even having a hostile work environment.
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits both housing and employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability (including AIDS and HIV), mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), age (40 or older), or sexual orientation(heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality). The prohibition includes a perception that the person has any of those characteristics or that the person is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of those characteristics. Physical and mental impairment includes conditions that are disabling, potentially disabling, or perceived as disabling.
Additionally, it is unlawful under the FEHA to refuse to grant a female employee up to four months of pregnancy disability leave. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (Gov. Code, § 12945.2) added provisions to the FEHA to provide up to 12 workweeks leave for the reason of the birth of a child of the employee, the placement or adoption of a child by the employee, the serious health condition of the child, parent, spouse, or the employee.
The FEHA also protects employees and contract workers from harassment on any of the prohibited bases in the work place. Harassment because of sex includes sexual harassment, gender harassment, same-sex harassment, and harassment based on pregnancy. Sexual harassment may be “quid pro quo,” involving situations where the victim’s submission to sexual advances or conduct is made a condition of an employment benefit, or it may create a “hostile work environment,” which deprives the employee of a discrimination-free work environment.
At LOPK, we celebrate diversity and are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees and ensuring that each of our business clients implement and enforce the proper policies and procedures to honor and protect those rights throughout Southern California.
We are well versed in handling employment legal challenges from both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s perspective and ranging from an employers’ need for in-house counseling to courtroom litigation in alleging and or following charges of discrimination and harassment.
We welcome the opportunity to assist you in your concerns and needs regarding this area of law and invite you to call or email us to discuss how we can be of assistance now and in the future.