Amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

Apr 2016 01 | Posted by liz.smith

Amendments to California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) regulations take effect today Friday, April 1, 2016,  The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has released new final regulations that address (among other things) pregnancy and sexual harassment under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). 

One of the mandatory new rules requires all California employers to implement a harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy in writing that includes specific provisions—and then distribute it to all employees, with acknowledgement that each employee understands the policy.

Background

The FEHA prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment on the basis of certain protected classes, such as race, color, religion, disability, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions). The law generally applies to employers with 5 or more employees; however, the provisions regarding harassment apply to all employers. 

  • In addition to distributing the DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment (or an alternative writing that complies with Government Code section 12950), a covered employer must develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that meets specific requirements (§11023).
  • New content standards for the abusive conduct component of the required sexual harassment training are included.

An employer must maintain and pay for group health coverage for an eligible female employee who takes pregnancy disability leave for the duration of the leave-not to exceed 4 months over the course of a 12-month period per pregnancy-beginning on the date the pregnancy disability leave begins, at the same level and under the same conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had not taken pregnancy disability leave.

If you would like additional information on this topic, please click here for an in-depth article. 

DFEH-185

District Harassment Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Sample Policy