FEHC

Elected NCERT President and Announcing Upcoming Live Webinar


Elected NCERT President and Announcing Upcoming Live Webinar

In February 2014, I was honored to have been elected as the President of the Board of Directors of the Northern California Employment Roundtable (NCERT) (a group created in partnership with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing). I look forward to serving as President of NCERT and to focus on NCERT’s primary goal of reducing discrimination and promoting equal opportunity.

I’m also proud to announce that NCERT is hosing a webinar on the proposed amendments to the California Family Rights Act regulations. We are fortunate to have as presenters Phyllis Cheng, Director of the CA DFEH, and two recently installed members (including the Chair) of the new CA Fair Employment and Housing Council, Chaya M. Mandelbaum and Dale L. Brodsky. There is no better authority on this topic than these folks!

The live webinar will be held on Friday, May 2, 2014 from Noon to 1:00p.m in Walnut Creek, CA. You are invited to attend in person in or you may participate remotely via computer. See this PDF flyer for more information and for instructions for registration.

Also, check back with me for NCERT’s fall webinar – more details on that coming soon!

Employers and HR Professionals: Register Now For Another Informative Webinar


Employers and HR Professionals: Register Now For Another Informative Webinar

Join us at the Northern California Employer Roundtable (NCERT).

As you may know, I am one of the Board Members of the Northern California Employer Roundtable (NCERT), revived by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. I want to extend an invitation to you for our next webinar presented by the Director of the DFEH, Phyllis Cheng and Patricia C. Perez, Former Vice Chair of the former CA Fair Employment and Housing Commission. Director Cheng and Ms. Perez will be discussing the new Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations regarding Pregnancy and Disability, effective December 30, 2012.

The webinar is set for Thursday, April 11, 2013 from Noon-1:00p.m. You can participate from the comfort of your own home or office. The nominal fee is $25.00 and continuing education credit is provided. Please see this flyer or more information. Follow this link to register (powered by the technology at Littler Mendelson).

Significant Changes To the California Fair Employment And Housing Act in 2013


Significant Changes To the California Fair Employment And Housing Act in 2013

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

In a compromise to deal with California’ budget issues, Governor Brown signed a budget trailer bill (S.B. 1038) that significantly changes the way the employment (and housing) complaints will be handled by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Recently, Bloomberg BNA asked me to write about and analyze some of these changes. The most significant include:

  • The elimination of the Fair Employment and Housing Commission
  • The creation of the Fair Employment and Housing Council (whose primary role is rulemaking)
  • The authorization for the DFEH to file cases directly in court, and to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs when it prevails in court, and
  • The establishment of mandatory dispute resolution before the DFEH proceeds to court.

My attached White Paper provides a more complete description of these changes, and analysis of what it means for California employers. This White Paper was distributed to to subscribers of Bloomberg BNA’s “HR Library” and “HR Decision Support Network,” but I have attached it to this email free of charge for clients, colleagues and friends.

White Paper: New for 2013: Significant Enforcement Changes to California’s FEHA. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have questions about how to defend your company within the new DFEH framework.


Employers and HR Professionals: Invitation to Attend Webinar By DFEH Director Phyllis Cheng


As you may know, I am one of the Board Members of the Northern California Employer Roundtable (NCERT), revived by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. I want to extend an invitation to you for our next webinar presented by the Director of the DFEH, Phyllis Cheng. She will be discussing workplace retaliation, protections under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, potential defenses and limits to liability, recent trends and case law, and best practices for employers. Director Cheng will also provide a 2012 updated on the DFEH.

The webinar is set for Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from Noon-1:00p.m. You can participate from the comfort of your own home or office. The nominal fee is $25.00 and MCLE and HRCI credit is provided. Please see this flyer for more information. Follow this link to register (powered by the technology at Littler Mendelson).

Some of the services NCERT provides include the following:

  • Seminars (live and webinars) and conferences regarding discrimination, harassment and retaliation in employment
  • Information on DFEH activities and new policies/procedures
  • Counseling and other assistance to employers
  • Special projects in response to public educational needs
  • Technical advice and input to DFEH on its procedures.

Please feel free to contact me should you like to learn more about NCERT, and/or to get involved.

The Future of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission


The Future of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission

The California Fair Employment and Housing Commission is being absorbed into the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Today I was one of a small group of attorneys who participated in a conference call with Anna Caballero, California’s Secretary of State and Consumer Services, and Phyllis Cheng, Director of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). One of the purposes of the call was to inform stakeholders of the future of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) and the DFEH. In essence, as the way things are headed, soon the FEHC will no longer exist, and its role will be incorporated into a shielded division within the DFEH. The actual impact on employees and employers may be relatively minor, but this structural change is fairly significant. If you have any questions, input and/or feedback you would like me to pass along to Director Cheng, please let me know.

Here is a summary of the information discussed during the conference call (I thank Director Cheng for providing me this summary and for allowing me to share it):

Governor’s 2012/13 Proposed Budget:

  • The State of California continues to face a $9.2 billion structural deficit.
  • The Governor’s proposed budget plan includes important reforms. It improves government efficiency and pays down debt. It reorganizes state government to make it more efficient and saves tax dollars by consolidating or eliminating functions.
  • The Governor proposes to eliminate the [FEHC]. The Budget includes a decrease of $579,000 ($459,000 General Fund) and 2.5 positions as a result of the elimination of the stand-alone [FEHC] that handles adjudication of employment and housing discrimination cases. Adjudication of employment and housing discrimination cases would be handled by a separate and distinct division of the [DFEH] effectively eliminating the stand-alone [FEHC] and consolidating workload. The DFEH would receive 1.5 positions from the FEHC consolidation as well as the portion of the Attorney General’s cost for defending writ actions. The Department would absorb the rest of the [FEHC’s] functions. The savings to the State would be: $391,000 in 2012/13; and $784,000 in 2013/14 and ongoing.
  • A trailer bill from the Department of Finance with specific language to carry out the Governor’s plan is forthcoming.

Possible Implementation Plan for the Governor’s Proposal:

  • Adjudicatory Function: The [DFEH] currently operates a “separate and distinct division” in its Mediation Division that is behind a firewall and shielded from the rest of the DFEH. To employment the Governor’s proposal, the DFEH would put the [FEHC’s] adjudicatory function behind the confidential firewall of this Division and would rename it the “Hearing and Mediation Division.”
  • Regulatory Function: Under its existing authority, the [DFEH] could establish a permanent DFEH Advisory Committee that would be codified in its procedural regulations. The proposed Advisory Committee would consist of a balanced group of plaintiff and defense attorneys with expertise in fair employment and housing law, along with representatives from the EEOC and HUD, to advise the DFEH on promulgation of regulations that interpret the FEHA, Unruh Civil Rights Act, Disabled Persons Act and Ralph Civil Rights Act.