The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees, or independent contractors on the basis of marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Sex discrimination includes harassment based on any of the protected characteristics. The law against harassment applies to all employers, regardless of size (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12940).
"Sex" defined. FEHA defines "sex" to include:
• Pregnancy or related medical conditions
• Childbirth or related medical conditions
• Breastfeeding or related medical conditions
• A person's gender
(CA Gov. Code Sec. 12926(r)).
Definition. The term "gender expression" is defined as a person's gender-related appearance and behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the employee's assigned sex at birth (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12926(r)).
Cross-dressers. Employers can require employees to adhere to reasonable workplace appearance, grooming, and dress standards, but an employer must allow an employee to appear or dress consistently with the employee's gender identity or gender expression (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12949).