In California, employers are required to have workplace postings regarding employee rights and responsibilities under the Fair Employment and Housing Act which are produced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”). California recently updated three of these mandatory DFEH posters as a result of revisions to state law that went into effect on January 1, 2013.
Specifically, the DFEH poster regarding Workplace Discrimination and Harassment (previously called Discrimination in Employment) now includes an expected definition of three protected categories. The prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex now includes breastfeeding as a protected practice. Genetic characteristics have been added to the medical condition category. In addition, the reasonable accommodation of an employee’s religious beliefs and practices has been expanded to include religious dress and grooming. As a California employer, you must now obtain and post a new Workplace Discrimination and Harassment poster reflective of these changes.
Other changes include those to Your Rights and Obligations as Pregnant Employee poster. This poster has been rewritten to include an expanded section about employer obligations and an employee’s obligation to provide notice to its employer. You must now also obtain and post a new Your Rights and Obligations as Pregnant Employee poster.
The Family Care & Medical Leave / Pregnancy Leave poster now includes a new calculation for determining the maximum time allowed for time off from work because of pregnancy. Again, you must now obtain and post the new Family Care & Medical Leave/Pregnancy Leave poster.
The California Unemployment/Paid Family Leave/Disability poster was also revised to include new information about filing disability insurance and paid family leave claims online. Information regarding the time limit for filing claims to avoid losing benefits has been removed from the post. California employers must obtain and post this revised poster.
Employers are well advised to obtain these posters and have them posted as soon as possible. If an employer fails to do so, it may be fined $1,000 per violation or imprisonment for up to six months, or both. All it takes is one disgruntled employee to raise this issue, subjecting you to fines! As a word of caution, the lack of current postings can also be used as evidence against an employer in discrimination, harassment and failure to accommodate lawsuits.