I don’t think I’ve seen a better Halloween blog than my partner’s in his California Employment Law blog. Jeff Polsky, resident employment lawyer extraordinairre in our SF office, has written the following post, which we reprint in it’s entirety.
DISCLAIMER: California being, of course, sui generis in many respects, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of his legal analysis of various types of monsters as a protected class as it applies to New York law. Consult your own attorneys.
“California discrimination laws protect a wide variety of individuals. So it’s perfectly understandable if you lay awake at night thinking about monsters and wondering whether employers are allowed to discriminate against them? Well finally, here are the answers to your questions about what types of monsters are protected from discrimination.
Zombies – Not protected. As I’ve previously explained, being dead is not a disability.
Werewolves – Not protected. While lycanthropymay be the type of impairment that otherwise qualifies as a disability, employers are not required to employ a creature who is “unable to perform his or her [or its] essential duties . . . in a manner that would not endanger . . . the health or safety of others even with reasonable accommodations.” And don’t think chaining employees up during full moons is a reasonable accommodation.Employers who chain employees to their work stations even figuratively face serious exposure to missed meal and rest period claims.
Werepanthers – Not protected. See werewolves.
Swamp Monsters – Don’t be ridiculous. I think we all know that swamp monsters aren’t real.
Ghosts – Not protected. See Zombies.
Vampires – Not protected. You can again rely on the exception for those who can’t perform their jobs without endangering the health or safety of others. If the job requires someone to work during daylight without burning up, you’re especially safe.
Aliens – Not protected. I’m not talking about those from other countries. I’m talking about those from other planets. You may not discriminate based on national origin. But you may discriminate based on planetary origin.
Mutants – PROTECTED. Both California and federal law prohibit discrimination based on genetic information. So you may not discriminate against mutants.
So while most monsters aren’t protected against discrimination, mutants are. Happy Halloween!”
Thanks, Jeff. And a happy Halloween to you too!