Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
Equal Employment Opportunity is referred to as the “law of the land” wherein every individual has equal rights and access to opportunity. In November 1996, the California electorate adopted Proposition 209, which amended the California Constitution to prohibit preferential treatment on the basis of race or gender in the operation of public employment, education or contracting, and was effected in August 1997. As specifically stated in the California Constitution, Section (e), “Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting action which must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state."
In addition, the County is subject to federal laws that mandate Countywide equal employment opportunity programs. In order to qualify and/or receive federal grants, the County develops and maintains an EEO Plan written to conform to the U.S. Department of Justice regulations in accordance with Title 28, Section 42.301, Code of Federal Regulations.
San Joaquin County’s position on equal employment opportunity is supported by federal and state laws and regulations, which provides the legal basis for equal employment opportunity. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Federal Laws Enforced By The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII). This act prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, nation origin, or sex. Conditions of employment covered by the act include hiring, promotion, salary, fringe benefits, training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Amended Title VII to make it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended (EPA). This act prohibits discrimination in salaries and most fringe benefits based on sex.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (ADEA). This act prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees who are 40 or more years of age.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. This act prohibits discrimination against any qualified applicants or employees based on disability in all programs and activities receiving federal funds.
- Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This act prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability.
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). This act makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Genetic information includes information about an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual's family members.
California Law Enforced By The Department Of Fair Employment And Housing
- The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This act prohibits discrimination in employment based on Ancestry, Age (40 and above), Color, Disability (physical and mental, including HIV and AIDS), Genetic information, Gender, gender identity, or gender expression, Marital status, Medical condition (genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer), Military or veteran status, National origin (includes language use restrictions), Race, Religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices), Sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions), Sexual orientation.