New Regulations for the Golden State

DecisionHR has been closely monitoring new regulations in the state of California this summer, and we want to alert our clients of some game-changing rulings occurring in California.

Do you know what they are? If you are an employer in California, you need to be aware. Effective July 1st new rules and regulations for criminal history and transgender discrimination went into effect. It’s time to adjust your policies and practices for these new regulations.

Criminal History

The proposed regulations related to employer use of criminal history information has been discussed with the Fair Employment Housing Council. Employers will no longer be able to consider any non-felony misdemeanor conviction related to marijuana possession that is more than two years old. The regulations also set a new procedural process that must be followed when considering criminal conviction in the hiring process. The burden will fall on employers to satisfy certain requirements of the law. In addition to these new rules and regulations, the FEHC also adds new language that prohibits you from using criminal history information that has “adverse impact” on employees who are in a protected category (i.e., race, gender, national origin, etc.) unless you can prove it to be job-related and consistent with business needs.

These regulations are currently in full effect. To understand them in more detail click here.

Transgender Regulations

Last month, the Office of Administrative Law approved new formal regulations related to transgender identity and expression.  These new rules represent a follow up to transgender employees’ rights issued by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing last year.

The new regulations include:

  • The broadening of the existing definitions of “gender expression” and “gender identity,” most notably to include the “perception” of an individual’s gender expression or gender identity.
  • A new definition “transitioning” stating to “mean a process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth.”
  • Use of preferred gender name now states, if an employee requests to be identified with a preferred gender, name, or pronoun (including gender-neutral pronouns), an employer who fails to abide by the employee’s stated preference may be liable under FEHA.
  • The new regulation for use of facilities now requires you to permit employees to use facilities (such as restrooms, locker rooms, and similar facilities) that correspond to the employee’s gender identity or gender expression, regardless of the employee’s assigned sex at birth.
  • You are prohibited from discriminating against an individual who is transitioning, has transitioned, or is perceived to be transitioning.

As these new rules and regulations are being enforced, DecisionHR is here to keep you updated as information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Human Resource Business Partner at 1-888-828-5511.