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Workplace Discrimination

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2020 | employment law

Every business owner hopes that they can instill a positive culture in their workplace – where employees feel valued and appreciated, and in turn are happy and productive. However, certain aspects of the business world naturally bring about the opposite of those feelings. From not getting a job to facing termination, or even dealing with unfair treatment in the workplace, the job market can be rife with rejection and disappointment, leading to complaints that result in discrimination lawsuits.

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the protected classes of employees in California are numerous:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices)
  • Gender (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/ or related medical conditions)
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Medical Condition (genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer)
  • Military or veteran status
  • National origin (includes language use and possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to provide their presence in the United State is authorized under federal law)
  • Ancestry
  • Disability (mental and physical including HIV/AIDS, cancer, and genetic characteristics)
  • Genetic information
  • Request for family care leave
  • Request for leave for an employee’s own serious health condition
  • Request for Pregnancy Disability Leave
  • Retaliation for reporting patient abuse in tax-supported institutions
  • Age (over 40)

While discrimination as a concept might be common knowledge and running a business comes with risk, there are steps business owners can take to prevent it. The first is training. The second is seeking legal advice at the very outset of a potential issue. And the two concepts are not mutually exclusive; employers must do both in order to minimize their potential exposure.