IF YOU have more than five employees you are required to have in place as of April 1 anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and complaint investigation policies.
You are also required to post starting April 1 a notification to your employees about California’s pregnancy disability leave law.
The regulations, updated by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council, were spurred by recent court decisions. If you have not done so, now is the time to review your anti-harassment, discrimination and retaliation policies.
Steps You Need to Take Now
- Include a mechanism that permits employees to complain to someone other than his or her immediate supervisor, such as a human resources manager or other supervisor, a complaint hotline, or an ombudsperson. It should also include contact information for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as additional avenues for employees to lodge complaints.
- State that you will conduct a fair, timely and thorough investigation and that all parties will be given due process.
- State that you will ensure that you will keep the matter confidential to the best extent possible, but not that it’s completely confidential.
- Require supervisors to report complaints of misconduct to a designated person, such as a human resources manager.
- Have a mechanism for remedial measures if you find misconduct.
- Assure your workers that you will not retaliate against them for filing a complaint.
Ant-harassment Policy Basics
- Set the policy in writing.
- List all current protected categories covered under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
- Indicate that the FEHA prohibits not only supervisors and managers from engaging in prohibited conduct, but also co-workers and third parties with whom employees come into contact.
- Create a complaint process to ensure that complaints receive the following:
– Designation of confidentiality, to the extent possible.
– Timely responses.
– Impartial and timely investigation by qualified personnel.
– Documentation and tracking for reasonable progress.
– Options for remedial actions and resolutions.
– Timely closure.
Pregnancy Disability Notice
Starting April 1, if you have five or more employees you are also required to post the “Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee” notice alongside all of your other mandatory employment-related postings at your workplace.
You can find a copy of the new poster from the state at this website:
Employers with 50 or more workers will continue to be requried to post the “Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave” notification that has been required since July 2015.