On July 1, 2017, California introduced new regulations that expand existing
protection for workers under California’s
Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) for transgender people. The FEHA prohibits discrimination or harassment
against individuals based on their membership to any of a number of protected
classes. These protected classes include
gender, gender identity, and gender expression. Learn more about the new regulations.
The new regulations seek to clearly define several terms for the sake of
clarity. These terms are:
Transgender: A person whose gender identity does not align with the sex assigned at
birth. They may or may not have a gender expression that matches social
expectations of their sex.
Gender Expression: A term that refers to the way a person display’s their gender through
appearance, clothing, and behavior. These choices may or may not follow
stereotypical gender roles.
Gender Identity: A person’s internal understanding of their gender, their perception
of their gender identity. These can include male, female, nonbinary, or
Other Changes Made
The new regulations made several changes to FEHA, including:
- An explanation of the process of transitioning, and what it may or may
not involve for transgender individuals.
- Regulations that make it illegal to deny employment wholly based on an
individual’s sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression,
including those who are transitioning.
- Prohibitions on employers from seeking proof of an individual’s gender,
gender identity, gender expression, or sex. This information may be volunteered
by the employee.
- Regulations barring the use of a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ)
defense to justify any discrimination because the individual is transgender
or gender non-conforming.
- Regulations that state equal rest breaks must be given to all employees,
regardless of gender or sex.
- Regulations that require employers to allow employees that use the restroom
that corresponds to their gender identity or expression, gender-neutral
signage, or other accommodations to provide privacy.
- Regulations prohibiting employers from imposing appearance restrictions
that are inconsistent with the employee’s gender identity or expression
without business necessity
- Regulations require employers to abide by an employee’s stated preference
in regards to their pronouns, name, and gender.
With more than 20 years of experience,
Attorney Bill Marder has the knowledge and skill to handle your employment law needs. Don’t
wait to learn how
Marder Employment Law can help you.
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