California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits harassment and discrimination in the workplace that is based on one or more of the categories commonly protected by local, state and federal discrimination laws. On April 1, 2016, new regulations interpreting and expanding upon the statutory language go into effect. Below, we provide a summary of some of the more notable updates to the regulations.
Counting Employees to Determine Whether an Employer Is Covered
The FEHA covers “[a]ny person or individual engaged in any business or enterprise regularly employing five or more individuals, including individuals performing any service under any appointment, contract of hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written.”
The regulations explain that employers must count individuals performing work both inside and outside of California. Although individuals who encounter potential discrimination or harassment outside the state of California are not protected themselves, they are counted for the purpose of assessing whether the employer is covered under the statute. Employers must also count all individuals on paid or unpaid leave, even those who are on administrative leave because of disciplinary suspension. No individual on a leave of absence of any kind should be excluded.
Continue Reading This Is Not a Prank: California’s New Amended FEHA Regulations Are Effective April 1