California Application Forms laws & HR compliance analysis

California Application Forms: What you need to know

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits using an application form that expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification, or discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related conditions and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and older), sexual orientation, or military and veteran status, unless a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) applies (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12940).
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Harassment. FEHA also prohibits an employer from harassing an applicant based on a protected characteristic. Harassment of an applicant by a nonemployee, or by an employee other than an agent or supervisor, is unlawful if the employer knew or should have known of the conduct and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In reviewing cases involving the acts of nonemployees, the extent of the employer's control and any other legal responsibility that the employer may have regarding the conduct of those nonemployees is considered. Under FEHA, employers must take "all reasonable steps" to prevent harassment from occurring. Loss of tangible job benefits is not necessary in order to establish harassment (CA Gov. Code Sec. 12940(j)(1)).
Retaliation. It is unlawful for an employer to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a person because the person has opposed unlawful discrimination or has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in a proceeding under FEHA.
Criminal history inquiries. Effective January 1, 2018, under California’s “ban the box” law, employers with five or ...

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