Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed S.B. 1441, which expands discrimination protections for individuals in programs or activities conducted, operated, or administered by the state or state agency, or that’s funded directly by the state, or receives any financial assistance from the state. This includes programs such as workers’ compensation and unemployment and disability insurance.
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In particular, the new law adds sexual orientation to the list of protected categories. It also defines the terms “sex” and “sexual orientation” to specify that those terms have the same meaning as under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Finally, the measure states that discrimination includes the perception that a person has any of the enumerated characteristics (that is, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, disability, etc.) or that the person is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, any of these characteristics.