The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits an employer from discharging, expelling, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because the employee opposed harassment or discrimination on the basis of:
- Age (40 and over);
- Religious Creed (including religious dress and grooming practices);
- Denial of Family and Medical Care Leave;
- Disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS;
- Marital Status;
- Medical Condition (cancer and genetic characteristics);
- Genetic Information;
- Military and Veteran Status;
- National Origin (including language use restrictions);
- Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding);
- Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression; or
- Sexual Orientation. California Government Code § 12940(h).
Employers in California are also prohibited from discharging, discriminating, retaliating, or taking any adverse action against an employee or prospective employee for:
- Exercising any rights afforded to the employee or prospective employee by the California Labor Code;
- Filing a complaint with the Labor Commissioner or testifying in a Labor Commissioner proceeding;
- Making a written or oral complaint that the employee is owed unpaid wages;
- Engaging in political activities; or
- Whistleblowing. California Labor Code § 98.6.
In addition, California employers are also prohibited from reporting or threatening to report an employee’s citizenship or immigration status or that of a family member because the employee has exercised a right under the California Labor Code. California Labor Code § 244(b).