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Schimmel & Parks, APLC - Litigation
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2019 brings new sexual harassment laws to California

The growing trend of people speaking out about being subjected to sexual harassment in California has sparked significant changes to how people are protected from these behaviors. Public outrage has been an effective motivator for that advancement with new laws being implemented and, with the start of the new year, going into effect. Understanding these laws can be useful to people who believe they have been harassed and would like to seek compensation for what occurred.

Harassment is addressed with a new law as it not only impacts sexual harassment, but other forms of harassment as well. Documents were frequently required for workers to retain a job or get a bonus or raise. These workers were prevented from filing a lawsuit if they were discriminated against or faced sexual harassment. This and the outlawing of a non-disparagement agreement for workers who were mistreated are viewed as beneficial to workers and improving their treatment.

Sexual harassment training is a fundamental aspect of another law. With the previous law, only employers who had at least 50 employees were required to have supervisors take part in two hours of training regarding sexual harassment every two years. Now, it is employers who have five employees who must train supervisors for two hours within six months of being hired. Other employees must have one hour of training in the first six months and then have training every two years.

It is a positive development that the state is trying to protect women in the workplace by enacting new laws that are designed to prevent harassment, sexual and otherwise. However, that does not automatically mean that every workplace will adhere to the law and the protections will be a shield to the treatment. Women and others can be sexually harassed and still not know how to handle it. It can cost them promotions, pay raises and make the entire endeavor impossible to navigate. Contacting a law firm that understands the new laws and the protections it grants workers is key when considering a legal filing for sexual harassment. Those who are victimized should not hesitate before seeking help.

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