Employers generally can’t use an applicant’s age as a hiring criterion without violating California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (see Govt C §12940(a)) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 USC §§621–634). Most employers know this and make sure not to ask about the applicant’s age. But they often ask other questions or include language in a job posting that run afoul of the law.
When vetting job applicants, employers want to use as many tools as possible. In addition to testing for particular skills, employers may consider intelligence or personality tests. But these types of tests may be a bad idea: they have questionable benefits and can put the employer in legal hot water.
Most employers know that discrimination against transgender and other gender-nonconforming persons is prohibited in California. But many employers have been confused about what legal rights transgender employees have and how to protect them. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has offered help with its newly-released Transgender Rights in the Workplace: FAQ for Employers.
Just in case employers have forgotten how critical it is to avoid and properly handle harassment claims, the recent $1.5 million settlement against JPMorgan should serve as a reminder. Advise all employers to take action and have a plan to protect employees and minimize harassment claims.