Many of our previous posts here have discussed specific instances of workplace discrimination that have occurred in California. It is, unfortunately, a fact of life that discrimination still occurs in the workplace on any given day.
Many of our readers in California know that state and federal laws exist that protect workers from discrimination in the workplace, but some do not know how to tell if those laws actually apply to them, or to any potentially discriminatory conduct they may have encountered in the workplace. Knowing those basics can help California workers protect their rights.
It is a sad reality that discrimination in the workplace still exists in today's society. Unfortunately, we are all used to seeing news stories about workplace discrimination with far too much frequency.
Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, including age discrimination. Older workers in California, rather than being respected for their experience and knowledge may find themselves being passed up for promotions, ridiculed for their age or even forced into early retirement simply due to their age. This is age discrimination, and it is against federal and state law.
California law provides protection against workplace discrimination of various kinds. Protected classes include race, gender, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and military or veteran status. Another major protected class, and the subject of this blog post, is religion. This blog post will describe the prohibition against religious discrimination in a little more detail.
California law protects workers from many kinds of unfair discrimination in the workplace. Employers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age and a number of other factors. As we talked about last month, California law also protects workers with disabilities from unfair discrimination.
It is important that disabled individuals are given the same chance to perform work they are qualified for and earn a living as individuals who do not have a disability do. Disabled persons in California are protected from workplace discrimination both by federal law and by state law. Three of these state laws include the Disabled Persons Act, the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Not only do these laws protect disabled individuals from being discriminated against in the workplace, but they also require employers to make "reasonable accommodations" that will allow a disabled individual to perform their work duties.
Rules exist against workplace discrimination to prevent California residents from experiencing negative work outcomes for illegitimate reasons. These reasons include race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, national origin, religion, military service, and association with a disabled co-worker or disabled family member. This blog post will quickly describe some of the kinds of discrimination that are not permitted under California law.