Changes Effective April 1, 2016
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has released new final regulations, effective April 1, 2016, that address (among other things) pregnancy and sexual harassment under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
The FEHA prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment on the basis of certain protected classes, such as race, color, religion, disability, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions). The law generally applies to employers with 5 or more employees; however, the provisions regarding harassment apply to all employers.
- In addition to distributing the DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment (or an alternative writing that complies with Government Code section 12950), a covered employer must develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that meets specific requirements (§11023).
- New content standards for the abusive conduct component of the required sexual harassment training are included.
- An employer must maintain and pay for group health coverage for an eligible female employee who takes pregnancy disability leave for the duration of the leave-not to exceed 4 months over the course of a 12-month period per pregnancy-beginning on the date the pregnancy disability leave begins, at the same level and under the same conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had not taken pregnancy disability leave.