California Diversity laws & HR compliance analysis

California Diversity: What you need to know

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits all public employers and private employers with five or more employees from discriminating against applicants or employees based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability (including HIV-positive status), or mental disability, medical condition (specifically, cancer-related conditions and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and older), sexual orientation, or military and veteran status. It includes discrimination based on a perception that a person is a member of a protected class or is associated with a person who is, or is perceived to be, a member of a protected class. All public and private employers, regardless of size, are prohibited from unlawful harassment based on a protected characteristic.
The state Unruh Civil Rights Act (Unruh Act) prohibits discrimination based on sex (including sexual harassment), race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability (including the use of guide dogs), medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation in business practices or franchising, among other things.
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Talent Knows No Limits is a public education resource for California employers wishing to employ people with disabilities. The group offers an online self-paced training series for human resources professionals, interviewing tips, an overview of applicable laws, and more at
Last reviewed December 2017.

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California Diversity Resources

Type Title
Handouts Workplace Diversity (Handout)
PowerPoints Managing Non-English-Speaking Employees
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