Although employment law has addressed the problem of sexual harassment for many years, workplaces throughout the state could come under greater scrutiny if proposed bills achieve approval. SB-1343, AB-1867 and AB-2366 address issues like training and record keeping.
Employment laws often apply only to companies that employ specific numbers of people, which leaves some workers without regulatory protection. If passed, SB-1343 would require sexual harassment prevention training at companies that employ at least five people instead of the current 50 people. All employees would need a minimum of two hours of training by January 1, 2020. Training must recur every two years thereafter.
AB-1867 would increase record-keeping obligations on employers with 50 or more workers. They would have to keep harassment complaints on file for 10 years.
Current labor codes that prohibit employers from mistreating employees afflicted by domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking would expand under AB-2366. Currently, companies with at least 25 employees must grant leave requests to these victims. The proposal would add protection to sexual harassment victims and increase workplace protections for their immediate family members who need time off of work to aid victims.
A victim of harassment could experience significant damage to a career, loss of income and emotional trauma. When a person cannot gain relief after filing a complaint with an employer, an attorney could provide guidance about how to take legal action. Evidence such as co-worker testimony, lewd materials at work, email and text messages or wrongful termination could be organized by an attorney and used to build a case. An attorney might be able to communicate the person's need for a financial settlement, coordinate efforts with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and file a lawsuit if a trial becomes necessary to address wrongdoing.