While pregnancy discrimination is related to gender discrimination, there are actually both federal laws and California laws that separately prohibit employers from singling out workers who choose to have a child.
For years employers have exercised "zero tolerance" drug policies, meaning that they could legally choose not to hire, or to fire, an employee who tested positive for any drug, including marijuana. Now, their conundrum is how do you tell someone they cannot do something that is legal? The answer is simple. You can't. This is what has left some employers in what they can only describe as "a mess."
Whether we choose to admit it or not, black people, in particular, black women, are discriminated against in the workplace due to their natural hairstyles. Unfortunately, society has dictated unnatural styles to be "professional," whereas natural locks boasting tight curls, cornrows, braids, or locks are frowned upon.
Our state takes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights very seriously, including within the workplace. LGBT discrimination laws are in place which coincide with federal discrimination laws, and can be prosecuted as such. These are known as the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Here in California, we would like to believe that people succeed or not succeed based only on their own merits. Unfair and illegal discrimination should have no place. Unfortunately, this is far from the reality faced by many workers. As recent and not-so-recent headlines have shown, unfair discrimination happens all the time. One would think that large corporations should be immune from this because they can afford to monitor employee conduct. But as we recently discussed, there have been allegations that a high-profile California auto manufacturer has not been doing this.
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.