New California Employment Laws in Effect After January 1, 2014

California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act has been amended with two important laws that went into effect on January 1 of the new year. The first is a change to sexual harassment laws to include sexual language as grounds for a sexual harassment claim. Senate Bill 292 says that a sexual harasser’s motivations do not have to include “sexual desire” to qualify as a claim for sexual harassment. This bill was a response to the 2011 Kelley v. Conco Companies case in which a judge ruled that since a male supervisor’s “graphic, vulgar and sexually explicit” language was not motivated by a true sexual desire for the harassee, there were no grounds for a sexual harassment claim. Now, even if the person sexually harassing an employee has no sexual interest, they can still have a sexual harassment claim brought against them.

A second important law that went into effect January 1 adds a “military and veteran status” category to people who are protected from employment discrimination. Assembly Bill 556 extends FEHA to veterans and military members who “seek, obtain and hold employment in California.” Before this bill, FEHA protected employees from discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age or sexual orientation. Employers are still permitted to ask employees their veteran or military status by law.

Our Attorneys Represent Those Experiencing Harassment, Discrimination at Work

If you have experienced harassment or discrimination while on the job, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys are dedicated to representing those who have been victims of discriminatory workplaces. If you have been having issues at work, call our office today to speak with one of our attorneys about your case, or connect with us on Facebook. We want to hear your story.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys