Laws and Regulations

Laws and Regulations

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Keegan Houser

UC civil rights policies emanate, in part, from existing California state and federal laws and regulations. Here is a list of some of the many legal requirements that are incorporated into the development, dissemination, and execution of UC systemwide and Berkeley campus civil rights-related policies.

State And Federal Laws

Age Discrimination Act of 1975

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as Amended

Specifies that it is unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's age.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Federal law that prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, public services and transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunication services against individuals with disabilities.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972

Prohibits an employer from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. "Sex " includes pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcement.

Civil Rights Act of 1991

Provides for compensatory and punitive damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination that are brought under the ADA, the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987

Overturns the U.S. Supreme Court's 1984 decision in Grove City v. Bell, and specifies that recipients of federal funds must comply with civil rights laws in all areas, not just in a particular program or activity that receives federal funding. Applies to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Sexual Harassment

Prohibits unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that impose a requirement of sexual cooperation as a condition of employment.

Executive Order No. 11246 as Amended

The original order signed by President Johnson requires that federal contractors not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin and that federal contractors take affirmative action to promote the full realization of equal opportunity for minorities heretofore denied access. In 1968 Executive Order 11375 added "sex" to the list making women a protected category. In 1970 President Nixon introduced the concept of "goals and timetables" as a way of targeting and measuring the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts. Race or gender based hiring and promotion are not required and quotas are prohibited. On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list making LGBT members a protected category. The amended regulations took effect on April 8, 2015.

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993

Allows eligible employees 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for (1) the birth of a child; (2) the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care; (3) the care of a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; or (4) the care of an employee's serious health condition that renders the employee unable to perform job duties.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

Prohibits discrimination in employment and health coverage based on genetic information.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

Amendment to Title VII that makes it illegal for employers with 15 or more employees: (1) to refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant; (2) to fire a woman because she is pregnant; (3) to force a pregnant employee to leave work if she is willing and able to work; or (4) to stop the accrual of seniority for an employee who has taken a leave of absence to give birth or have an abortion, unless seniority does not accumulate for other disabled employees during a leave of absence.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ( sections 503 and 504) (update soon)

Covers employers with government contracts in excess of $10,000 (503) and recipients of federal financial assistance (504). Section 503 states that government contractors must include an affirmative action plan and clause in each government contract and must implement affirmative action to employ, advance in employment, make reasonable accommodation, and otherwise not discriminate against disabled individuals. Penalties for violation include the withholding of progress payments on a contract; the termination, in whole or in part, of a contract; or department of the contractor from future contracts. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental "handicap" in every federally assisted program or activity in the country.

Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments

The law reads: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA)

Requires employers with government contracts in excess of $25,000 to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment Vietnam era veterans, special disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized. The Act is administered and enforced by the OFCCP.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act

Prohibits discrimination and harassment based upon race, religious creed, color, national origin ancestry, physical "handicap," cancer-related medical condition, marital status, sex, or sexual orientation. Moreover, it prohibits age discrimination against individuals over the age of 40. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is the state agency charged with enforcement.

Government Code Section 12940 et seq

State statute that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of any person.

California Family Rights Act (Cal-FRA)

Due to Assembly Bill 1460, this act has been amended to conform with the federal FMLA, allowing eligible employees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for certain family or health-related concerns.

Unruh Civil Rights Act

Prohibits discrimination in accommodation, services, business practices, franchising, and sale or use of real property due to sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, blindness, or other physical disability.

Equal Pay Act of 1963

Prohibits discrimination in the payment of wages to anyone performing work equal in skill, effort, and responsibility to the work performed by employees of the opposite sex.

Supreme Court Ruling: Adarand, June 12, 1995

Heretofore, federal administration of affirmative action programs had much greater leeway and flexibility than did state and local administrators. With the Adarand decision, federal affirmative action programs are now limited to the same "strict scrutiny" standards as are state and local programs.

California Constitution, Article 1, Section 31 (Proposition 209)

Was enacted by California voters in 1996 to forbid race and gender preferences in state and local education, hiring and contracting.

California Senate Bill No. 179 (SB179)

Also known as the Gender Recognition Act, this bill was signed into law and went into full effect January 1st, 2019. In brief, SB 179 streamlines the process for Californians to apply to change their gender markers, and creates a nonbinary gender category on California birth certificates, drivers' licenses, identity cards, and gender-change court orders (the letter "x"). This enables many in our community, including transgender, intersex and nonbinary people, to have full recognition in the State of California. The law was authored by Sens. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center

California Assembly Bill No. 1826 (AB 18250)

Became effective August 17, 2007, and mandates immediate and continual biennial state-wide sexual harassment prevention training for any employee who performs supervisory functions within a company of 50 employees or more, regardless of where the supervisory employees are based as long as the company has employees within the State of California. This training must be at least two hours "of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment," including, information and practical guidance regarding federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against, and the prevention and correction of, sexual harassment, as well as, the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment; all of which must specifically include practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, and which must be presented by trainers or educators with "knowledge and expertise" in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

SB 396

Approved in October 2017, this California Senate bill made multiple amendments to AB 1825, further requiring agencies with over 50 employees to include training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

SB 1300

CA Senate Bill 1300’s provisions took effect on January 1,2019. SB 1300 prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a release of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment. The bill also amends FEHA to specify that an employer may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees for all forms of harassment, rather than the responsibility being limited to sexual harassment, as it was before SB 1300 took effect. Further, the bill prohibits a prevailing defendant from being awarded fees and costs unless specific conditions are met.