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Posted on March 27, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination
When employees file a claim against an employer for harassment in the workplace, oftentimes, as part of a settlement offer, employers would include a “no-rehire” provision to ensure that the victim of harassment is never allowed to work for their company in the future.
While many employees and employers oftentimes mutually agree to part ways following a claim of harassment or discrimination, there are instances where an employee would want to reapply for a position with the company in the future. Until this year, provisions allowing employers to prevent those who file suit against them from ever working for the company again were completely legal.
A new law (AB 749) signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom changed this long-standing practice. If you are an employee that faced discrimination or harassment in the workplace which resulted in a settlement offer from your employer, make sure your legal rights are protected for any future employment opportunities you may wish to have with this employer in the future.
Many employers simply want the option to automatically terminate future applications of any employees who have ever filed a harassment or discrimination complaint against them. The California Chamber of Commerce argued that this practice was already illegal under California Law under Section 16600 of the Business and Professions Code. However, many advocates of the new AB 749 law disagreed and stated that a proactive bill was required to protect those victims experiencing workplace discrimination and harassment.
The new AB 749 law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and requires that any business operating under California law must ensure that all no-rehire provisions are removed from employment documents. This may include the removal of questions on employment applications that ask if an employee has ever worked for the employer previously.
Additionally, all employers should revise their termination and settlement agreements. Any re-hire provisions located in these agreements will be considered void under the law. However, it is important to note that no-rehire provisions may still be allowed under the law if an employee sexually harassed or discriminated against another employee, violated the law, or was terminated for a legitimate reason outside of the scope of a harassment or discrimination lawsuit. Therefore, if an employer legitimately fired a person for any non-discrimination or non-retaliatory reason, they are not forced to exclude this no-rehire provision in those termination contracts.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also has taken the stance that no-rehire provisions in settlement agreements related to discrimination or harassment are illegal and could be considered additional retaliation that is illegal. With both federal and state laws now actively indicating that no-rehire provisions are against the law, California employers must take immediate actions to ensure that they do not violate these standards in any of their agreements, contracts, or settlement offers.
If you as an employee stood up against discrimination or harassment, you have the right to choose your future employment, which may include the same company you previously worked for. Contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Firm of Omid Nosrati at 310-905-8428 or online today. We can help ensure that your legal rights are protected.