State Agency Stresses Workplace Rights for California’s Military and Veteran Members
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently issued a new fact sheet highlighting the workplace protections available to those actively serving, or who have served, our country.
California is home to approximately 1.8 million veterans — the highest veteran population of any state in the nation. California is also home to nearly 169,000 active duty military personnel, again the largest number in the nation — followed by Virginia, Texas and North Carolina.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects veterans and active duty military personnel from discrimination and harassment. Under FEHA, military and veteran status means a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserve, the United States National Guard, or the California National Guard.
Other protections available under FEHA to military servicemembers and veterans, as well as all covered California employees, include the reasonable accommodation of disabled applicants or employees to enable them to perform the essential functions of a job, protections against discrimination by unions in member admissions or dispatching members to jobs, and protections against retaliation.
In addition to FEHA protections, both California and federal law, including the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), provide certain job protections and return rights for periods of military service.
In addition, the California Employment Development Department helps veterans and eligible spouses to maximize employment and training opportunities. Information on EDD’s employment services for veterans, including employer resources, can be found on their website.