Written by attorney Rodney Mesriani

Six Laws Protecting California Applicants from Employment Discrimination

In this economic setting, virtually no job applicant can afford to become a victim of employment discrimination. In relation to this, it is a must for all job seekers in the United States to learn and to comprehend their legal rights in order to avoid discrimination in the workplace. There are particular employment laws that protect applicant from discrimination. The following is the list of laws safeguarding the rights of job applicants from any form of workplace discrimination: 1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – This Federal law makes it illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against applicants based on particular reasons. Title VII indicates the following protected classes: • Race or color • National origin • Sex • Pregnancy • Religion and religious practices 2. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – This law prohibits employers with 15 or more workers to discriminate against job seekers based on their physical or mental disability. Furthermore, ADA implores covered employers to provide disabled applicants and employees with reasonable accommodation in order for them to cope with the challenges of the workplace and business per se. 3. Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – Under this Federal law, employers with 20 or more employees are not allowed to discriminate against job applicants due to their age. This law applies to people who are 40 years of age or older. 4. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) – Pursuant to GINA, applicants should not be discriminated based on their genetic information or family medical history by employers with 15 or more workers. Specifically, GINA prohibits employers to ask applicants during the application process about their family medical background as well as genetic information. 5. Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – PDA acts as the go-to employment law of applicants who are pregnant. In accordance with this Act, employers employing 15 or more workers are required not to discriminate against applicants based on their pregnancy condition. 6. California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – This California State law covers employers with five or more employees. FEHA makes it illegal for covered employers doing business in California to discriminate against applicants based on the following categories: • Race or color • National origin or ancestry • Age • Disability • Sex • Gender identity or expression • Religion or religious practices Applicants who believe that they have been victims of workplace discrimination may file a formal complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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