California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): This law is found in California’s Government Code at section 12940. The law applies to employers with five or more employees. FEHA prohibits discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and childbirth or related medical conditions. California’s FEHA rules track the federal rules with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are medical conditions, marital status, and sexual orientation which are expressly covered under California’s FEHA. These topics are only addressed indirectly by Federal law. California’s FEHA also prevents discrimination against people who are perceived to have characteristics associated with a protected person. Example: A worker is not gay, but people in the workplace assume the person is gay because of certain mannerisms. This worker is protected from discrimination by California’s FEHA.
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