California Fair Employment and Housing Act

Also known as FEHA, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employers and tenants from discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age (generally 40 or over), disability, medical condition (including AIDS, HIV, and cancer), national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, and national origin. An employer cannot consider these categories when promoting, hiring, training or firing an employee.

In order to prove a California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) violation, an employee must show that the employee was subjected to an adverse employment action because of the employee's race, religion, sex, etc. The types of adverse employment actions can vary, but they commonly include termination, reduction in hours, reduction in pay, demotion, or a failure to hire. Once an employee establishes these facts, there is a presumption that the employer has violated the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and has engaged in unlawful conduct.

An employer then has the opportunity to offer a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment action. In other words, the employer can be justified in taking an adverse employment action upon a showing of good cause. However, even if the employer puts forth a purported non-retaliatory reason for the adverse employment action, the employee has a final opportunity to prove that the conduct was nevertheless retaliatory and intentional.

In order to sue under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), you you must obtain a right-to-sue letter from the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing ("DFEH"). While these letters can be obtained instantaneously from DFEH's website, it is always preferable to consult an attorney first so that your attorney can have control over the process and pursue the right litigation strategy for you.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer due to a California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) violation or for any other reason, you should contact Freiman Legal at (310) 917-1004.