National Origin Protections in California May Change in 2018

National origin protection rules may change in California this year. As previously reported, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council has proposed amendments to the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to specifically address national origin protections.

California already has strict rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on protected classes, including national origin

The draft regulations discuss the type of acts that may constitute national origin discrimination (see Initial Statement of Reasons). The regulations also discuss prohibited immigration-related practices, including rules on:

  • Language restrictions;
  • Accent discrimination;
  • Immigration-related protections;
  • Height and weight requirements.

The council has made further modifications to the proposed regulations and is seeking additional written comments. This is the third comment period. Visit the council’s website for more information, including the text of the proposed regulations.

Comment Period

Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on January 5, 2018. Written comments can be submitted by email to and electronic copy of comments is preferred, but not required.

Written comments also can be mailed to:

Fair Employment and Housing Council
c/o Brian Sperber, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel
Department of Fair Employment and Housing
320 West 4th Street, 10th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90013

California Chamber of Commerce members can read about current National Origin protections in the HR Library. Not a member? See how HRCalifornia can help you.

Staff Contact: Gail Cecchettini Whaley