Updates to the California FEHA: Important Info for California Workers

Updates to the California FEHA: Important Info for California Workers

The California Fair Housing & Employment Act (FEHA) protects workers against various types of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. To clarify some of the provisions of this statute while enhancing some of its protections, a series of updates to the FEHA have been enacted, with many of these going into effect on April 1st of this year.

Shedding some light on these updates, below, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the latest changes to the FEHA.

If, however, you currently need answers about your options for combatting any form of workplace harassment or discrimination, don’t hesitate to contact a Sherman Oaks employment lawyer at Koron & Podolsky, LLP.

FAQs about Updates to the California FEHA: Important Info for California Workers

Q – What are the latest changes to the FEHA?

A – A number of changes to the FEHA recently went into effect, with some of the more notable updates including:

  • New definitions for some sex- and gender-related terms
  • New requirements for employers to “create detailed written policies for preventing harassment, discrimination and retaliation”
  • Updated provisions related to terms prohibiting sex, disability, pregnancy and religious discrimination.

Q – What are the specific updates regarding reasonable accommodations for disabled workers?

A – The new language pertaining to disability discrimination specifically details how employers should use an “interactive process” to assess the job requirements for and specific limitations of disabled workers requesting some accommodation. In other words, this update provides some explicit details for how employers are to evaluate whether accommodation requests for disabled workers are “reasonable.”

Q – What updates pertain to pregnancy & religious discrimination?

A – In terms of pregnancy discrimination issues, the latest updates to the FEHA clarify and/or provide that:

  • It’s illegal to discriminate against workers who are pregnant, perceived to be pregnant or who are living with a pregnancy- or childbirth-related condition.
  • Up to four months of leave can be taken for pregnancy- and childbirth-related needs, and this leave doesn’t have to be taken all at once (in other words, the four months can be taken over series of shorter leaves).
  • Employers are required to notify employees regarding their rights to pregnancy leave, protection from pregnancy discrimination, etc.

In terms of the religious discrimination provisions, the latest updates provide that:

  • Protections against religious discrimination apply to interns and volunteers, as well as employees.
  • Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious practices, and it’s illegal to avoid hiring (or to fire) employees in order to try to get out of providing such accommodations.

To review the comprehensive list of updates to the California Fair Employment & Housing Act that take effect at the beginning of April 2016, click here.

Contact a Sherman Oaks Employment Lawyer at Koron & Podolsky, LLP

If you have been the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment, contact a Sherman Oaks employment lawyer at Koron & Podolsky, LLP to find out more about your options for justice. Known for providing our clients with aggressive legal advocacy, our lawyers are exceptional litigators who are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and advancing their interests through all phases of litigation.

Call us today at 818-380-3077, or email us using the contact form on this page for more information about your potential case and how to proceed. From Sherman Oaks, our lawyers provide superior representation to people throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, and the state of California.