Understanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
- On 16 May 2016
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
It’s the law! This act prohibits employers from discrimination of any protected class, harassment or retaliation in the workplace. Employers need to create an equal environment for their employees and refrain from discriminating against their gender, age, religion, marital status, etc. The FEHA protects employees in the workplace and ensures that they are treated fairly and respectfully.
Employers must avoid discrimination (based on any protected category), harassment, and retaliation. Failure to do so may subject the employer to litigated claims and fines. Employees have the right to file claims and lawsuits if they feel as though they’re being harassed or discriminated against at work. It’s important for employers to take extra precautions to ensure that their employees are not feeling mistreated or inferior in any way.
Make sure that your employee handbook outlines clear policies regarding fair and equal treatment of employees; equal employment opportunities; non-discrimination, harassment and retaliation. A written document can provide everyone at work with a clear understanding of what’s considered discriminatory acts at work. These policies can also outline what steps employees can take if they feel mistreated or harassed. It’s important that your employees feel safe and welcomed when they come into the workplace as it will not only increase employee morale, but work productivity as well.
Offer employees venues to share their complaints – address and act upon those complaints for a healthy working environment. Make sure your employees don’t keep silent about any potential harassment or discrimination in your workplace. Allow them to speak up and talk to management or a third party if they notice such behaviors in the workplace. Offering employees a safe place to share these complaints can help resolve these matters quickly and efficiently without allowing any issues or problems to escalate; which may lead to lawsuits and fines.
Consider using ECG’s Confidential Employee Hotline as an alternative neutral third party to hear and report back complaints to your designated management representative. Our hotline provides employees a safe and unbiased place to address their concerns at work without reporting directly to management. If for any reason your employees do not want to discuss their complaints at work, we are here to listen to them and guide them through the process of resolve.