California has always been on the forefront in prohibiting discrimination in employment and housing. Now, it adds an additional class to be protected — military and veteran status.
Effective January 1, 2014, California law prohibits discrimination in employment and housing because of an individual’s military and veteran status. Enforced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), FEHA is intended to force employers to make decisions on the basis of performance and ability and not a person’s membership in a protected class. The uniqueness of the new law concerning military and veteran status is that the law specifically protects employers who ask job candidates about their military service to give preference for those who served.
The FEHA previously prohibited discrimination and harassment in employment because of the following:
Employers may not retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation of a complaint of discrimination. Complaints must be filed with DFEH within one year from the last discriminatory act.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act is a federal law that protects active duty military personnel who are returning to work after completing a military obligation. California has its state version, which extends to members of the California National Guard.
The addition of military and veteran status to the FEHA is different because it protects active personnel and veterans.
Employment discrimination can hurt you financially, emotionally and socially. If you are military veteran and suffered employment discrimination, contact an experienced employment law attorney who can provide a professional evaluation of your case.