Hiring Discrimination Laws in California

If you are looking for a job in California, state and federal employment laws are in place to protect you from discrimination during the hiring process. Despite the existence of these laws, you may still find that employers discriminate against job applicants.

As you are hunting for a new job, it is important to equip yourself with the knowledge of California’s hiring discrimination laws. Here are five things you need to know before you submit your resume or head in for a job interview.

1) Hiring Discrimination is Prohibited by the FEHA and Title VII

Both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants due to their membership of a protected class. If you find that an employer may be subjecting you to hiring discrimination based on any of the following, you should consult a California employment attorney:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity and gender expression
  • Race or color
  • Ancestry
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Pregnancy
  • Medical conditions
  • Disability
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Veteran or military status
  • Political affiliations or activities
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking

2) Yes, You Can Work with Your Spouse

Under California law, an employer must not make hiring decisions based on whether your spouse already works for the company. However, in order to ensure that workplace problems are minimized, an employer may require you to work in a different department than your spouse, or assign job duties that do not fall under your spouse’s supervision.

3) You Usually Don’t Have to Disclose Juvenile Criminal History

It is now illegal for California employers to use certain juvenile records when making hiring decisions. California AB 1843 has amended the California Labor Code to prohibit employers from asking job applicants to disclose any juvenile convictions related to arrests, detentions, or court dispositions. There are some exceptions, including whether you apply for a job at a health facility and have a record of a felony or misdemeanor involving sex or controlled substance crimes within five years of applying for the job.

4) An Employer Can’t Ask for Your Personal Social Media Accounts or Passwords

While you can’t keep a potential employer from surfing the web and looking through your social media profiles, California’s Employer Use of Social Media law prohibits both private and public employers from asking you for your social media usernames and passwords. If a potential employer demands that you hand over this information before or during your job interview, note that this a huge red flag and should be dealt accordingly by an expert California employment attorney.

5) English-Only Policies Are Only Unlawful Sometimes

Some California employers may require you to speak fluent English – and this can be legal. English-only policies can be established legally only if speaking fluent English 1) can be justified by business necessity, and 2) the employer has notified employees of the policy, when it should be observed, and the consequences if it is violated.

However, you may find that certain employers use an English-only policy to discriminate against individuals due to their national origin. If you feel that an employer has used an English-only policy in its application to deter you from applying for a job at their company, they could be violating California law.

Are You a Victim of Hiring Discrimination in California?

If you feel that you are being subjected to hiring discrimination, California employment law may be able to protect you. As soon as you notice signs of hiring discrimination, it is crucial to contact our expert Los Angeles employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz since hiring discrimination claims can expire quickly. Contact us now for a free consultation.