Existing state law prohibits discrimination or harassment based on an individual's gender or sex. AB 887 makes technical changes to a variety of laws, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act, to explicitly identify "gender, gender identity and gender expression" as protected characteristics.
The new law also requires employers to allow an employee to appear or dress in a manner consistent with the employee's gender expression, in addition to appearing or dressing in a manner consistent with the employee's gender identity. Under the new law, "gender expression" is defined as "a person's gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth." Amended Government Code Section 12949 specifies that the law does not limit an employer's ability to impose reasonable workplace appearance, grooming, or dress standards. However, within dress guidelines, an employer must permit employees to appear or dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression.
Similarly, for purposes of workers' compensation coverage, the law prohibits a finding of a personal relationship or personal connection between an employee who is injured or killed by a third party in the course of employment and the third party based on third party's perception of the employee's protected characteristics. AB 887 adds "gender, gender identity and gender expression" to that list of protected characteristics.