The law forbids discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in every aspect of employment. Employers are limited in how they may conduct job advertising, recruitment, hiring, training, referrals, promotions, base pay or benefits, discipline or discharge employees, or provide references. Despite more than a decade of sensitivity training, and the development of ever larger human resource departments, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reported steady gains in the number of charges being brought against employers nationwide.
California law provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for "an employer or any other person, because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation, to harass an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract. Harassment of an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract by an employee other than an agent or supervisor shall be unlawful if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of this conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. An entity shall take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring. Loss of tangible job benefits shall not be necessary in order to establish harassment."