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How does California fight workplace discrimination?

It is no accident or coincidence that California has the largest economy among U.S. states. The state government and businesses have worked hard to make opportunities in employment open to all groups and individuals equally.

Some instances of employment discrimination, which can apply to either job applicants or employees, and workplace harassment mar this positive landscape. Fortunately, the state works with federal guidelines and federal agencies to make it easier to report and deal with discrimination before it affects a person's career and results in other workplace issues.

What defines workplace discrimination?

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes the legal definition of workplace discrimination in the Golden State. This law is often more broad in definition than federal law when it comes to sexual harassment and disability discrimination. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) governs the parts of this law.

Who is protected from workplace discrimination?

The FEHA makes it against California law to discriminate based on race, religion, color, family background, sexual orientation, age, gender, military experience, marital status, disability or medical condition. Discrimination based on genetic inheritance is also illegal, and genetic testing is therefore forbidden by employers.

How do I fight employment discrimination?

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace or job application process, DFEH will accept a discrimination claim. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may also be helpful, as the two agencies co-operating while processing and investigating claims. Victims may also wish to consult an attorney about the possibility of a claim in civil court.

Source: Workplace Fairness, "Filing a Discrimination Claim - California," accessed April 20, 2018

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