California employers with five or more employees are required to treat all employees equally regardless of the employee’s race, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability. Employers may not discriminate in terms of rates of pay, types of jobs, promotions, or benefits. All employees must be afforded the same opportunities for advancement and bonuses. Employers must also use “neutral criteria” when hiring, disciplining, and firing or laying off employees. Neutral criteria are those criteria which are not based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, or disability.