The Homeless Person's Bill of Rights and Fairness Act recently proposed in the California Legislature would provide broad protections to homeless individuals with respect to employment, housing, health services, etc., and effectively make housing status a protected class when it comes to discrimination in employment. +2013 Bill Text CA A.B. 5; +2013 Bill Tracking CA A.B. 5.
Specifically, the proposed law prohibits California employers from discriminating against applicants and employees due to an individual's:
Condition of being homeless;
Lack of a permanent mailing address; or
Current income level.
The proposed law permits aggrieved individuals to file a civil lawsuit and allows a court to award statutory damages of $1,000 per violation, actual damages, compensatory damages, general damages, special damages, exemplary damages, appropriate injunctive and declaratory relief, punitive damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.
California's proposed law follows in the wake of Rhode Island's Homeless Bill of Rights, which was enacted in the summer of 2012. 2012 R.I. ALS 316; 2012 R.I. ALS 356; +2011 Bill Text RI H.B. 7173; +2011 Bill Tracking RI H.B. 7173; +2011 Bill Text RI S.B. 2052; +2011 Bill Tracking RI S.B. 2052.
XpertHR will continue to monitor this legislation as well as any new developments with regard to discrimination based on housing status.
Protecting the Homeless in the Workplace
Employee Management > EEO - Discrimination: California > Future Developments