The California Fair Employment and Housing Act protects against discrimination based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation.  Assembly Bill (“AB”) 556 extends this protection to add “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected.  The new law provides an exemption for inquiries by an employer regarding military or veteran status for the purpose of awarding a veteran’s preference permitted by law.  “Military and veteran status” is defined as a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserve, the United States National Guard, and the California National Guard.