Postings Required by the Department of Fair Employment & Housing

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Protecting employees from harassment and discrimination are important measures in a workplace. In this lesson, you'll learn more about postings required by government agencies to explain employees' rights.

Employee Rights in the Workplace

Brett has just started a new job for a popular clothing store chain in San Diego. Emily, from the Human Resources department, has spent most of the morning with Brett, helping him fill out important paperwork and reviewing company rules and guidelines. At lunchtime, Brett heads for the employee break room, where he notices large posters hung that seemingly detail additional rights and regulations for employees. Emily suggests that Brett read through the poster contents and let her know if he has any questions.

Let's take a closer look at what Brett discovered.

Required Postings

In California and states across the country, employers are required to display postings that identify critical protections for employees. This includes things like freedom from discrimination and your rights as a pregnant worker. In California, the body tasked with this is known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, but there are equivalent organizations - with similar posting requirements all across the country. Below are a few of the most commonly required posters. Keep in mind, these flyers or announcements must be displayed in a place where they can be easily viewed and read by all employees.

Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination is something none of us wants to experience. Thinking that you've been passed over for a promotion because of your age or a disability is a devastating experience.

The first poster required in the workplace details how discrimination and harassment are prohibited in the workplace. That means, as a worker you cannot be discriminated against or harassed based on your:

  • Ancestry
  • Age
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Genetic details
  • Gender identity
  • Marital Status
  • Medical conditions
  • Military/veteran status
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Religious preferences
  • Sex/gender
  • Sexual orientation

Employers have to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment and, in some cases, provide training to employees about harassment. Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations for a worker's religious beliefs, such as an employee wearing religious jewelry, and any disabilities that will help a worker complete the functions of his or her job.

Family Care, Medical and Pregnancy Disability Leave

Another important required posting pertains to family care, medical and pregnancy disability leave an employee might take.

According to the law, if you've worked more than 12 months and at least 1,250 hours in that 12-month period before you want to begin your leave, you are permitted to take up to 12 weeks of leave. Legally, this leave can be unpaid, though some employers may choose to offer paid leave.

It may surprise you to learn that this leave is not only for women, but men also, surrounding a childbirth, adoption or foster care placement. You can also take this leave if you are dealing with a serious health issue or a circumstance involving your child, a parent or your spouse.

But, what if you've only worked for your employer for six months? The law makes allowances for that, too, giving employees up to four months of leave if you are disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or another related medical problem.

Employees have a few requirements here as well, including giving 30 days advance notice (whenever possible) and providing proof from their physician.

Sexual Harassment Prevention

Protecting employees from sexual harassment is also an important role for employers. Two types of sexual harassment may occur in the workplace:

  • Quid pro quo: When some part of a job, such as a promotion, is predicated on allowing sexual advances or sex-based conduct.
  • Hostile work environment: When employees are subject to unwelcome comments or conduct based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

All it takes is one act of harassment that makes it difficult for the employee to do his or her job to qualify as unlawful.

Employers must educate employees about the dangers of sexual harassment and develop a written policy that explains how the company will prevent and correct harassing behaviors.

Transgender Rights

A relatively new posting requirement pertains to transgender rights in the workplace. The term ''transgender'' describes people who identify as gender different from the gender assigned to them at birth. This posting also covers gender expression, which includes the appearances and behaviors of a person regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth.

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