The Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, is a law that protects employees from discrimination, harassment and retaliation at work. It applies to all employers that have five or more full-time or part-time workers – and the anti-harassment provisions in the law apply to all employers with one or more employees.
What is FEHA?
FEHA prevents discrimination related to:
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Medical conditions
- Military or veteran status
- National origin
- Religious creed
- Sex (to include pregnancy)
- Sexual orientation
The law also protects people from retaliation if they make a complaint, help another person make a complaint, or oppose any action in the workplace that violates the law.
When is it Legal for Employers to Discriminate?
When it comes to disability, the only times an employer is allowed to “discriminate” is when the person is unable to perform the essential functions of the job, and there’s no reasonable accommodation that the employer could make to enable the person to perform the job; and when the person would create an imminent and substantial danger to him- or herself, or to others, by performing the job and when it’s impossible to make a reasonable accommodation to remove or reduce the danger.
In cases such as these, what the employer is doing is not considered discrimination because the person could either not perform the job’s duties and isn’t qualified or because the person would pose a danger to other employees. Employers aren’t required to put employees at risk.
However, it’s not legal for employers to discriminate because there’s a possibility of future harm to the person or to others; it’s also illegal to discriminate because hiring someone with a disability could raise the employer’s insurance rates.
What Else FEHA Does
FEHA’s protections are generally more encompassing (they cover more ground for more people) than federal protections are.
In 2016, new regulations went into effect to strengthen the Fair Housing Employment and Housing Act. Those new regulations:
- Require employers to create anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies
- Require employers to distribute written copies of their policies to employees in English and other languages that are spoken by at least 10 percent of the workforce
- Require employers to conduct training regarding discrimination and harassment
Does FEHA Only Cover Employers?
FEHA doesn’t only cover employers. It also covers labor organizations, employment bureaus and people who aid and abet violations of the act.
Did Your Employer Violate FEHA?
While there’s no guarantee that you have a case, if you believe your employer violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act in any way, you should talk to an employment lawyer in Glendale. Your attorney can evaluate your case to find out what happened by examining evidence and asking you questions.
If you do have a case, your lawyer will pursue damages to compensate you for what you’ve lost.
Call us at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 for a complimentary consultation. We want to hear what happened to you and determine whether you have a case. If you do, we may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.