California National Origin Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

California National Origin Discrimination: What you need to know

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of their actual or perceived national origin or ancestry; or on their association with a person who is, or is perceived to be, a member of a protected class (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12940 et seq.). Under FEHA, it is unlawful for an employer to:
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• Refuse to hire, to discharge, or to otherwise discriminate against a person in compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of national origin or ancestry.
• Refuse to select, or to train, or to terminate a person from a training program leading to employment because of national origin or ancestry
• Print or circulate any publication or to make any inquiry, either verbal or through use of an application form, that expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to national origin or ancestry.
• Discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because he or she has opposed any practices forbidden under FEHA or because he or she has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under FEHA.
• Aid, compel, or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under FEHA, or to attempt to do so.
• Harass an employee, applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract because of national origin or ancestry.
• Fail to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.
FEHA covers all public employers and private employers with five or more employees, except that its provisions prohibiting harassment apply to private employers with one or more employees.
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