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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Lesser known California anti-discrimination laws

In light of recent news reports, a lot of people in the Fresno area probably recognize that their employers cannot discriminate against them based on race, gender, and membership in other protected classes. Employers must also take reasonable steps to keep their workplaces free of sexual harassment, and they must give appropriate protections to pregnant employees.

There are, however, lots of other protections from various types of discrimination or unfair treatment that California law affords workers. On a related point, California law also protects workers from retaliation should they choose to stand up for their rights by formally reporting unlawful conduct or cooperating with regulators who are investigating the same.

As an example, one law limits an employer from punishing an employee based on what that employee does during their free time. While an employer can take action against an employee who breaks the law, they cannot punish an employee for exercising their constitutional rights if done in a lawful manner. Examples of this sort of behavior may include an employee's decision to participate in a peaceful protest or gather signatures for a ballot initiative.

Another important protection that may affect many Californians is a law that prohibits an employer from discriminating against someone because they are a victim of domestic violence or a related offense or they need to take time off to get legal help as a result.

In California, workers are protected from a lot of different types of employment discrimination. If a worker feels they have received adverse treatment for an inappropriate or unlawful reason, they should consider speaking with an attorney who focuses on representing workers.

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