Two New Discrimination Laws Mean Changes for Policies, Posters

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In 2013, employers will need to change notices, postings and employee handbook policies related to discrimination and harassment prevention to reflect two recently signed bills, AB 1964 and AB 2386.

Religious Dress/Grooming (AB1964):  As stated in the analysis of the bill, the intent is to “provide clarity and ensure that all religions receive equal protection under the law.” The added language states:

“Religious dress practice” is construed broadly to include the wearing or carrying of religious clothing, head or face coverings, jewelry, artifacts and any other item that is part of the observance by an individual of his or her religious creed.

“Religious grooming practice” is also to be construed broadly and includes all forms of head, facial and body hair that are part of the observance by an individual of his or her religious creed.

Breast Feeding (AB2386):  The new legislation was enacted, in part, to reflect a decision by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) in 2009 in which an employee was terminated because she was nursing her baby during her lunchtime break.

The amended Government Code definition of “sex” includes, but is not limited to:

• Pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy.

• Childbirth or medical conditions related to childbirth.

• Breastfeeding or medical conditions related to childbirth.

The rest of the definition of “sex” remains unchanged.

Updated Poster/Software

The California Chamber of Commerce 2013 California and Federal Employment Notices Poster and Employee Handbook Software will include changes to policies and posters as a result of AB 1964 and AB 2386.  To purchase your new poster, please complete the form on this page and return it to the Santa Clara Chamber with your payment.

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