What Is the Fair Employment and Housing Act?
The Fair Employment and Housing Act provides protection to employees from illegal employment practices. Employers are subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act in case they have five or more employees.
Under FEHA, an employer is prohibited from taking adverse action against his employee based on discrimination or retaliation. The Fair Employment and Housing Act also provides protection to employees from harassment, failing to take necessary steps to prevent harassment and discrimination, and failing to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy or mental or physical disability.
Forms of Workplace Harassment and Discrimination
Workplace harassment and discrimination can be in different forms, including cases of:
- Sexual harassment
- Religious discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
In case there is proof that the employer failed to take the required steps to protect his employee from discrimination or harassment at the workplace, the employee may have been eligible to take legal action against his employer.
What Must the Employee Prove?
To bring a claim against the employer a plaintiff must establish the following elements:
- The plaintiff was engaged in a protected activity
- Employer subjected the employee to an adverse employment action
- The plaintiff suffered harm
- Employer’s actions were the main reason for causing harm to the plaintiff
What Are Considered Protected Activity Under FEHA?
Protected activity can include the following:
- Making a charge
- Participating in any manner in hearings or proceedings under the statutes
It is illegal for an employer to terminate his employee who threatened to file a charge of employment discrimination against him.
Adverse Employment Action
Adverse employment action according to the Fair Employment and Housing Act is an action that materially affects the conditions, terms, or privileges of employment.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim for FEHA Violations
An employee must file the discrimination claims within the Department of Fair Employment and Housing within 1 year from the date of the discrimination.
The Process of Filling a Complaint Against an Employer
Filing a complaint with the DFEH is required before the employee can file a lawsuit pursuant to the Fair Employment and Housing Act. An online form to file a complaint against an employer can be found on the DFEH website.
Filling a Lawsuit Against an Employer
When a plaintiff files a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, he/she can either:
- Request that the department issue a “right to sue” notice
- The Department will issue a “right to sue” notice after they have made an investigation
Thus, an employee is only eligible to file a lawsuit over the Fair Employment and Housing Act retaliation or discrimination after getting a “right to sue” notice from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Los Angeles Employment Law Attorney
Are you in need of legal assistance from an attorney who specializes in employment law? Contact our Los Angeles employment law attorney at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation.