P3 California Employment Laws Schedule to Take Effect in 2020 – Discrimination, Retaliation, and Harassment Laws

The following two laws affect how workers are judged and treated in the workplace.

The aim of SB 188 is to recognize how race has been unfairly used to discriminate in employment based on historical traits such as hair texture and style. The law amends how race is defined (and thus amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act) to “provide that the definition of the race also includes traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, and would define protective hairstyles for purposes of these provisions.”

Employers can’t discriminate in hiring, firing, and promotion based on hairstyle unless there’s good security or occupational reason. The law is in response to the concern that our nation has laws and societal norms that equate “blackness” and such traits as kinky or curly hair – with “a badge of inferiority, sometimes subject [workers]to separate and unequal treatment.” There may be exceptions for an employer who can show undue hardship in applying the law.

AB 9 extends the time an employee has to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing – for violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act – for such issues as discrimination, retaliation, or harassment. The time for filing employment-related complaints is extended to three years, from the current one-year time limit.

Employees who fail to file a valid FEHA complaint with DFEH within three years will lose their right to file their employee rights complaint in court. Employers will need to make sure their employment records are kept for at least three years. The law has specific requirements to meet the definition of filing a valid complaint. For starters, “filing a complaint means filing an intake form with the department and the operative date of the verified complaint relates back to the filing of the intake form.”

Call the Law Offices of Stephen Danz & Associates to learn if you have workplace discrimination, retaliation, or harassment claim. You can call us at 877-789-9707  or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment.