Discrimination Protection in California


In this and the blogs to come, we’ll be discussing building a company culture that is mindful of the LGBTQIA+ employees and unfortunately a part of that conversation is protecting these employees from discrimination. It would be wonderful if all employees were treated equally but we know that is not the case, and therefore it’s useful to review the anti-discrimination laws that protect all employees, including those who identify within the LGBTQIA+ community.


Federal anti-discrimination laws


  1. Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, and nationality.
  2. American Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination of people with mental and/or physical disabilities. What constitutes as a disability is different in each state and therefore it is important to review.
  3. Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits different rates of pay between gender for the same work.
  4. Age Discrimination Act prohibits age-related discrimination
  5. Genetic Discrimination Act of 2008 prohibits using a person’s genetic history as a qualifier for making hiring and firing decisions

Note, there is no federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation BUT California does offer protections.


CA protections for LGBTQIA+ workers


  1. Gender, gender identity, and gender expression: employers are prohibited from discriminating employees based on these factors. Remember that gender identity is a person’s internal understanding of their gender alignment, and gender expression is a person’s public presentation of their gender identity.*
  2. Sexual orientation: In the state of CA employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation.


Important to note


  1. Failure to prevent discrimination: In CA, if an employer becomes aware of discrimination against an employee, they are obligated to not only put a stop to it but also to take measures against it from occurring again.
  2. Harassment: The CA Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from harassing workers for their sexual orientation (as well as race, gender religion, etc) and extends to management staff and colleagues as well.


Thoroughly understanding the rights of employees is essential for employers, and whenever we discuss matters of company culture, benefits, etc., these rights should always be top-of-mind. There is no such thing as an inclusive and productive team environment if everyone on that team is not equally protected from harassment and discrimination. Employers first step in addressing discriminatory acts is to stop it, and then implement preventative measures.

If you’re looking to get started on building an inclusive culture within your company, Eos HR can help! We make sure small business employers have the resources they need to lead a productive and inclusive workplace. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

*If you wish to review terminology, please visit our blog that offers useful definitions: Starting the Dialogue for an Inclusive Culture:  Terminology

Let HR Take the Lead in the Employee Experience


You don’t need us to remind you that there is a bit of a shakeup happening over employee retention currently, you’ve likely experienced it yourself and if not, you’ve certainly heard of the sudden exodus of workers. They’re reconsidering previous perceptions of the employer/employee relationship, and the result has been a bit of a reckoning for employers who have not put much effort into the employee experience.

In our blog Employee Engagement versus Employee Experience, we discussed how these terms differ from one another. Although both deal in relationship-building with employees, put simply experience is the input of effort an employee receives from the company, while engagement is the output of effort from the employee back into their workplace. In this blog, we’re covering the key areas HR can take a lead in improving experience, leading to significant improvement in engagement.


Giving HR the experience reins


The first step in improving the employee experience is identifying problems areas. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Employers shouldn’t waste time on improving processes that both work and are not of concern to employees. Effort should be focused on what isn’t working. Requesting feedback (anonymous is always smart) is a great place to start in revealing weak points. But here are some common problem areas:


  1. A lot of employees have reported dissatisfaction with their onboarding experience. Big surprise. But not a difficult fix. Most onboarding just kind of ‘happens’ out of necessity, but what occurs when HR designs the process is a much more efficient system and, happier employees! Give it a makeover.
  2. Another unsurprising fault zone is technology, with many a frustrated employee just trying to do their job with tech they either don’t understand or that doesn’t make sense for their tasks. Here HR can work with the tech department in order to organize trainings or conduct an internal study on the tech tools that employees need to do their jobs well.
  3. Bad customer experience. And by customer, we mean employee. We’ve heard it said that employees should be treated with as much care as customers, and we couldn’t agree more. You want your employees to stay just as much as your customers to return so why wouldn’t you identify the things that make them want to stick around?
  4. Not gathering feedback. We can piggyback off #3 here, as feedback is an important component to customer experience. Make yourself/management team available for frequent feedback opportunities and take the intel seriously. It’s likely more frustrating for an employee to offer insight upon invite and have it ignored than to never receive the invitation at all.
  5. No team-building or one-on-one. It really is critical to the employee experience that workers have the chance to engage with one another and their managers. It builds a trusting, collaborative environment that does wonders in maintaining a positive and innovative company culture. The (should be) goal of every business!


Your HR department is a lot more than a dot the i and cross the t team, it’s capable of leading the company in exciting new directions. Are you ready to dive in? Eos HR can help! We make sure small business employers have the resources they need to lead a productive and positive workplace. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

How employee engagement differs from the employee experience


It’s likely you’re very familiar ‘employee engagement’ and we’re willing to bet that when you come across the phrase ‘employee experience’ you think it means the same. But, although related to one another, they actually differ and both are important to understand in order to achieve a healthy workplace environment for your team.


Characteristics of the employee experience


The employee experience is the culmination of individual events that make up the employee’s day-to-day. It’s the processes and behaviors of the company and its’ culture. For example, the following events would be considered part of the employee’s experience: onboarding, team-building events, company response to employee needs.

However, most importantly it is how the employee feels in response that really matters here. Do they feel a sense of belonging? Are they interested in opportunities for growth? Do they think there is a purpose to their work and the company’s objectives?


Characteristics of employee engagement


Employee engagement is both the outreach activities coming from the company, and the response to them from the employee. While individual factors such as diversity initiatives and employee development plans are examples, again it is the predominant connection that employees feel to the company that is most important here.

For example, do they feel respected by their employers and trusting of management? Would they consider their work environment to be a positive one? Do they want to collaborate and feel their ideas will be given consideration? Namely, we’re looking at how employees interact with the company.


We mentioned earlier that employee experience and employee engagement are related, and hopefully our examples of both demonstrate just that because in order to cultivate a thriving environment for employees, it requires the two. In our next blog we’ll be discussing how HR can play an effective role in experience and engagement, so if you’re feeling a little apprehensive on how to make some adjustments, you’ll want to start by reading that one!

And if you’re ready to dive in right now, Eos HR can help! We make sure small business employers have the resources they need to lead a productive and safe workplace. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.