Link to AB 887

While existing law prohibits harassment or discrimination based on gender or sex, this new law amends California’s existing anti-discrimination laws as detailed in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to identify “gender, gender identity, and gender expression” as protected characteristics.  The law defines “gender expression” as meaning a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth. 

While newly 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, within those set guidelines, an employer must permit employees to appear or dress in a manner consistent with the employee’s gender identity or expression.  New employee handbooks and trainings must also explicitly mention that California law does not tolerate any type of gender discrimination.  Employers should review and amend their personnel handbooks and policies to comply with AB 887 and should consider office policies related to use of restrooms or other facilities.