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Term Definition
Fair Employment and Housing Act

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex (gender), sexual orientation,marital status, national origin (including language use restrictions), ancestry, mental and physical disability, medical condition (cancer/genetic characteristics), age (40 and above), pregnancy, denial of medical and family care leave, or pregnancy disability leave (Government Code sections 12940,12945, 12945.2) and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories or for reporting patient abuse in tax supported institutions. You may file a private lawsuit under the Fair Employment & Housing Act.

Fair Employment and Housing Commission

State administrative agency that enforces the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to provide equal pay without regard to sex for equal work performed at the same establishment.


Harassment is behavior intended to disturb or upset. In the employment context, this can be of a sexual nature or other behavior that causes for a hostile work environment.

Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment

Hostile environment sexual harassment refers to a situation where employees in a workplace are subject to a pattern of exposure to unwanted sexual behavior from other employees. A company is liable for such harassment if supervisors or managers take no steps to discourage or discontinue such behavior.

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment exists when an employee experiences workplace harassment and fears going to work because of the offensive, intimidating, or oppressive atmosphere generated by a harasser.

Implied Employment Contract

An implied contract is a non-written contract that is based on a mutual understanding and expectations between two parties in an employment relationship. An implied employment contract may be established between an employer and employee in several ways. Most often this contract is considered based on (1) the number of years served; (2) performance based on positive evaluations, promotions, salary raises, bonuses; or (3) existing company policies.

Industrial Welfare Commission

Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) is a part of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and was established to regulate wages, hours and working conditions in California.


A court order preventing one or more named parties from taking some action. A preliminary injunction often is issued to allow fact-finding, so a judge can determine whether a permanent injunction is justified.

Interactive Process

An informal dialogue between the employer and employee used to identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability or other need and determine potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations or needs.


A form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath.


An official of the Judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts.


The official decision of a court finally resolving the dispute between the parties to the lawsuit.


The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case. It also is used as a synonym for venue, meaning the geographic area over which the court has territorial jurisdiction to decide cases.