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What kinds of workplace discrimination are prohibited?

California state law protects employees from many forms of discrimination in the workplace. Despite this, many people find themselves dealing with discrimination while they are at work. This blog post will provide a brief summary of what is prohibited at work under the laws of California. For more specific information, an attorney should be consulted.

California prohibits discrimination against individuals based on race or color, ancestry or national origin, religion or creed, age for people over 40, mental or physical disability, sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or military and veteran status. Employers are also not allowed to discriminate against individuals based on their pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth or related medical conditions. These rules apply to employers with five or more employees. The individuals protected include employees and job applicants.

This prohibition applies to all business practices of covered employers. These include advertisements; applications, screening and interviews; hiring, transferring, promoting, terminating, or separating employees; working conditions, including compensation; and participation in a training or apprenticeship program, employee organization or union. California law also forbids retaliation against an individual who has asserted their rights under the law. It also requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training to supervisory employees.

If an employer is found to have discriminated against an individual, what might that individual be entitled to? Remedies can include lost earnings, future lost earnings, hiring or reinstatement, promotion, out-of-pocket expenses, policy changes, training, reasonable accommodations, damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, and attorney's fees and costs.

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