Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 2. GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA [8000 - 22980]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 3. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT [11000 - 15986]

  ( Division 3 added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 111. )

PART 2.8. DEPARTMENT OF FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING [12900 - 12996]

  ( Part 2.8 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 992. )

CHAPTER 3. Findings and Declarations of Policy [12920 - 12923]
  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 992. )

12920.
  

It is hereby declared as the public policy of this state that it is necessary to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination or abridgment on account of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.

It is recognized that the practice of denying employment opportunity and discriminating in the terms of employment for these reasons foments domestic strife and unrest, deprives the state of the fullest utilization of its capacities for development and advancement, and substantially and adversely affects the interests of employees, employers, and the public in general.

Further, the practice of discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, or genetic information in housing accommodations is declared to be against public policy.

It is the purpose of this part to provide effective remedies that will eliminate these discriminatory practices.

This part shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the welfare, health, and peace of the people of this state.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 691, Sec. 1. (AB 556) Effective January 1, 2014.)

12920.5.
  

In order to eliminate discrimination, it is necessary to provide effective remedies that will both prevent and deter unlawful employment practices and redress the adverse effects of those practices on aggrieved persons. To that end, this part shall be deemed an exercise of the Legislature’s authority pursuant to Section 1 of Article XIV of the California Constitution.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 911, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

12921.
  

(a) The opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status is hereby recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

(b) The opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold housing without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by Section 51 of the Civil Code is hereby recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 691, Sec. 2. (AB 556) Effective January 1, 2014.)

12922.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, an employer that is a religious corporation may restrict eligibility for employment in any position involving the performance of religious duties to adherents of the religion for which the corporation is organized.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 913, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

12923.
  

The Legislature hereby declares its intent with regard to application of the laws about harassment contained in this part.

(a) The purpose of these laws is to provide all Californians with an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace and should be applied accordingly by the courts. The Legislature hereby declares that harassment creates a hostile, offensive, oppressive, or intimidating work environment and deprives victims of their statutory right to work in a place free of discrimination when the harassing conduct sufficiently offends, humiliates, distresses, or intrudes upon its victim, so as to disrupt the victim’s emotional tranquility in the workplace, affect the victim’s ability to perform the job as usual, or otherwise interfere with and undermine the victim’s personal sense of well-being. In this regard, the Legislature affirms its approval of the standard set forth by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her concurrence in Harris v. Forklift Systems (1993) 510 U.S. 17 that in a workplace harassment suit “the plaintiff need not prove that his or her tangible productivity has declined as a result of the harassment. It suffices to prove that a reasonable person subjected to the discriminatory conduct would find, as the plaintiff did, that the harassment so altered working conditions as to make it more difficult to do the job.” (Id. at 26).

(b) A single incident of harassing conduct is sufficient to create a triable issue regarding the existence of a hostile work environment if the harassing conduct has unreasonably interfered with the plaintiff’s work performance or created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. In that regard, the Legislature hereby declares its rejection of the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s opinion in Brooks v. City of San Mateo (2000) 229 F.3d 917 and states that the opinion shall not be used in determining what kind of conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute a violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

(c) The existence of a hostile work environment depends upon the totality of the circumstances and a discriminatory remark, even if not made directly in the context of an employment decision or uttered by a nondecisionmaker, may be relevant, circumstantial evidence of discrimination. In that regard, the Legislature affirms the decision in Reid v. Google, Inc. (2010) 50 Cal.4th 512 in its rejection of the “stray remarks doctrine.”

(d) The legal standard for sexual harassment should not vary by type of workplace. It is irrelevant that a particular occupation may have been characterized by a greater frequency of sexually related commentary or conduct in the past. In determining whether or not a hostile environment existed, courts should only consider the nature of the workplace when engaging in or witnessing prurient conduct and commentary is integral to the performance of the job duties. The Legislature hereby declares its disapproval of any language, reasoning, or holding to the contrary in the decision Kelley v. Conco Companies (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 191.

(e) Harassment cases are rarely appropriate for disposition on summary judgment. In that regard, the Legislature affirms the decision in Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243 and its observation that hostile working environment cases involve issues “not determinable on paper.”

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 955, Sec. 1. (SB 1300) Effective January 1, 2019.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV