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DFEH OVERVIEW. State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing EQUAL RIGHTS 101. MISSION STATEMENT. The Mission of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is to protect Californians from employment, housing, public accommodation discrimination, and hate violence.

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Dfeh overview

DFEH OVERVIEW

State of California

Department of Fair Employment and Housing

EQUAL RIGHTS 101


Mission statement
MISSION STATEMENT

  • The Mission of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is to protect Californians from employment, housing, public accommodation discrimination, and hate violence.


Role of the department
ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT

  • To accept, investigate, and resolve complaints alleging discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and hate violence


Enforcement division employment district offices
ENFORCEMENT DIVISIONEMPLOYMENT DISTRICT OFFICES

  • Bakersfield

  • Fresno

  • Los Angeles (2 districts)

  • Oakland

  • Sacramento

  • San Diego

  • San Francisco (located in Oakland)

  • San Jose

  • Santa Ana


Laws enforced by dfeh
LAWS ENFORCED BY DFEH

DFEH ENFORCES:

  • California Fair Employment & Housing Act

  • Unruh Civil Rights Act

  • Ralph Civil Rights Act


Jurisdiction
JURISDICTION

Employers covered by the law:

  • Private & Public employers within California

  • All State departments and local governments

  • Employment agencies

  • Labor organizations

  • Training programs

    Employer includes:

  • Any person regularly employing five or more

    persons

  • Only one person in harassment cases


The fair employment and housing act
THE FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT

For employment, prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Race

  • Color

  • Ancestry

  • Religion

  • Age (40 and over)

  • Sex (including pregnancy )

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Marital Status

  • National Origin (including language restrictions)


The fair employment and housing act1
THE FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT

Also includes:

  • Medical Condition (cancer or genetic characteristics)

  • Disability (mental or physical – includes HIV and AIDS)

  • Denial of Family Care Leave

  • Retaliation for filing a complaint, participating in a DFEH investigation or for opposing unlawful discrimination

  • Retaliation for reporting patient abuse by health facilities

    These categories are often referred to as

    “protected basis”


How do you know if you are being discriminated against
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST?

  • Hiring Questions

  • Grooming Standards

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Reasonable accommodation due to disability or religious beliefs

  • Leave of absence under the Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) or California Family Rights Act Leave (CFRA)


Hiring questions
HIRING QUESTIONS

  • It is against the law for an employer to advertise or ask questions relating to a protected basis.



Hiring questions sex marital status family
HIRING QUESTIONS-SEX, MARITAL STATUS, FAMILY

ACCEPTABLE

Name and address of parent or guardian if applicant is minor

Statement of company policy regarding work assignment of

employees who are related

UNACCEPTABLE

Questions to indicate applicant’s sex, marital status,

number/ages of children or dependents

Questions regarding pregnancy, child birth, or birth control

Name and address of relative, spouse, or children of an adult

applicant


Hiring questions religion
HIRING QUESTIONS-RELIGION

ACCEPTABLE

Statement by employer of regular

days, hours, or shifts to be worked

UNACCEPTABLE

Questions regarding applicant’s religion or

religious days observed


Hiring questions disability applicants
HIRING QUESTIONS-DISABILITY (APPLICANTS)

ACCEPTABLE

Employer may inquire if applicant can perform

Essential functions of the job

Statement that employment offer may be made

contingent upon passing a job-related mental/physical examination

UNACCEPTABLE

Questions regarding the applicant’s general health,

medical condition, or mental/physical disability


You re hired
YOU’RE HIRED!

ONCE YOU START YOUR NEW JOB, CAN YOU DRESS ANY WAY YOU WANT ?


Grooming standards
GROOMING STANDARDS

  • Employers can impose physical appearance, grooming or dress standards.

  • Standards should be applied uniformly

    • cannot burden the individual in his or her employment

    • must be flexible enough to take into account religious practices and disability accommodations.


Grooming standards1
GROOMING STANDARDS

  • Employers may not refuse to allow an employee to wear pants on account of the sex of the employee.

  • An employer may require an employee to wear a uniform or costume in particular occupations.


Grooming standards2
GROOMING STANDARDS

  • Employers may allow women to wear earrings but not allow men

  • Employers may establish hair

    length standards


Grooming standards3
GROOMING STANDARDS

  • Special Considerations are given to:

    • Complaints regarding facial hair, hair length, or clothing related to a religious belief or racial/cultural identity

    • Complaints where a skin condition disability precludes shaving



Right to a discrimination harassment free work enviornment
RIGHT TO A DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT-FREE WORK ENVIORNMENT

Harassment

  • behavior that threatens, intimidates, humiliates, embarrasses, and

    interferes with your work

    Illegal Harassment

  • Harassment is linked to a protected basis like racial harassment, religious harassment, and sexual harassment


Right to a discrimination harassment free work environment
RIGHT TO A DISCRIMINATION/HARASSMENT FREE-WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • Sexual harassment is the most prevalent type of harassment in the workplace

  • Recent studies estimate that

    • over 200,000 teenagers are sexually assaulted at work

    • hundreds of thousands more are subjected to some form of sexual harassment


Sexual harassment
SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • What is sexual harassment?

    • Unwelcome and unwanted verbal, physical, or visual behavior of a sexual nature


Verbal sexual harassment
VERBALSEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Sexual advances

  • Sexual propositions

  • Derogatory sexual comments or slurs

  • Sexual jokes

  • Graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body

  • Suggestive/obscene language.


Physical sexual harassment
PHYSICAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Touching

  • Assaulting

  • Rape

  • Impeding and/or blocking movement


Visual sexual harassment
VISUAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  • Leering

  • Sexual gestures

  • Displaying sexually suggestive object(s), picture(s), or cartoons

  • Displaying pornographic material on computer or otherwise


Quid pro quo
QUID PRO QUO”

  • “Conditional” sexual harassment

    • conduct that makes an employment benefit contingent upon succumbing to sexual advances

  • Promising employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors



Accommodation
ACCOMMODATION

  • What happens if you become disabled?

  • What if you are a person with a disability?


Accommodation1
ACCOMMODATION

  • You have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from your employer:

    • If you have a disability and it is medically necessary

    • If you are pregnant


Reasonable accommodation
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

  • Reasonable accommodation

    • ensures equal opportunity in the job application process

    • enables an individual to perform the essential job functions

    • ensures equal enjoyment of the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment


Examples of reasonable accommodation
EXAMPLES OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

  • Making existing facilities accessible

    and usable

  • Job restructuring

  • Reassignment to a vacant position

  • Part-time or modified work schedules

  • Buying or modifying equipment

  • Leave of absence


Reasonable accommodation1
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

Employer may be “excused” from having to provide a reasonable accommodation if they can show

“undue hardship”


Interactive process
INTERACTIVE PROCESS

  • In response to a request for reasonable accommodation, employer is required to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process to determine effective reasonable accommodations if any

  • Separate violation of the FEHA


Reasonable accommodation religion
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONRELIGION

  • What happens if you need time off for a religious observance?


Reasonable accommodation2
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

  • You can request accommodation for your religion if your religious beliefs or observance conflict with your job

    • Stuff like time off or wearing clothing as part of a religious observance



Pregnancy disability leave
PREGNANCY DISABILITY LEAVE

  • “PDL” allows up to 4 months leave if you are pregnant and unable to work due to your pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition

    • Employer must return you to your same job

    • Also covers time off needed for prenatal care.


California family rights act cfra
CALIFORNIA FAMILY RIGHTS ACT (CFRA)

  • ”CFRA” allows up to 12 weeks of leave per year for eligible employees for:

    • the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of your child

    • your own serious health condition or that of your child, parent, or spouse

  • Employer must return you to your same or a similar job



Termination
TERMINATION

  • Termination accounts for about one-third of complaints filed with DFEH.

  • Generally, most employment in CA is “at will”. This means that the employee or employer can terminate the employment at anytime, with or without cause.

    HOWEVER, IT IS ILLEGAL TO

    TERMINATE AN EMPLOYEE DUE TO A

    PROTECTED BASIS.


Filing a complaint
FILING A COMPLAINT

  • What do you do if you believe you have been a victim of discrimination and/or harassment?


Complaint process
COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • Communication Center

  • Interview

  • Investigation

  • Determination

  • Public Hearing/Civil Litigation


Complaint process1
COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • STAGE ONE

    • COMMUNICATION CENTER

      • You may schedule an appointment through the Communication Center or online by visiting our Web site

      • A Pre-Complaint Questionnaire is mailed with a letter with the scheduled date and time of the appointment


Complaint process2
COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • STAGE TWO

    • INTERVIEW

      • You will be interviewed to determine if there is a basis and sufficient information to accept the complaint for investigation.


Complaint process3
COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • STAGE THREE

    • INVESTIGATION

      • Once the complaint is accepted for investigation, the Department has 365 days from the filing date to complete an investigation into the complaint

      • At any point during this process, a complaint may be resolved by way of a No Fault Settlement.


Complaint process4
COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • STAGE FOUR

    • DETERMINATION

      • At the completion of the investigation, the Department will determine if there is sufficient evidence to forward the complaint to the Legal Division for further processing.

      • If there is insufficient evidence, the complaint will be closed.


Complaint process5
COMPLAINT PROCESS

  • STAGE FIVE

    • PUBLIC HEARING/CIVIL LITIGATION:

      Once the Department determines that there has been a violation of the law, a public hearing or trial is scheduled

      If a decision is made that a violation of the law occurred, a remedy is awarded.


Remedies
REMEDIES

  • Reinstatement to job

  • Back pay

  • Out-of-pocket losses

  • Policy development

  • Training

  • Emotional distress damages

  • Administrative fines


Helpful links
HELPFUL LINKS

  • There are many other employment issues that are not covered under the laws enforced by DFEH such as those relating to:

    • Work Permits

    • Work Injury

    • Unpaid Wages

    • Unemployment Insurance

    • Disability Insurance

    • Paid Family Leave



Dfeh contact information
DFEH CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Communication Center:

    1-800-884-1684

  • Web site: www.dfeh.ca.gov


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