Sexual harassment is a serious threat in the workplace. The recent #metoo movement has influenced local lawmakers to reconsider the protection policies in place. The state of California has adjusted employment laws beginning in 2019.
Employers and employees should stay up-to-date on these new regulations. Here is a breakdown of the new laws and what you can expect:
- Women board members: All publicly traded companies whose main executive office is in California will be required to have at least one woman director by the end of 2019. By 2022, boards with six people or more will have to have at least three women. Bill Text
- Discrimination and harassment: One new law includes a number of provisions aimed at reducing workplace harassment, including sexual harassment. Bill Text
- Nondisclosure agreements: Provisions that prevent the disclosure of information related to civil or administrative complaints of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and workplace sexual discrimination are now banned. Bill Text
- Sexual harassment training: The number and type of employees required to take sexual harassment training has been expanded. Bill Text
These are a step in the right direction to better protect those in the workplace.
What exactly is sexual harassment?
The EEOC describes sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. The EEOC points out that offhand comments, simple teasing, or non-serious isolated incidents do not constitute sexual harassment, but should the situation continue, or the behavior becomes severe enough that a hostile work environment results, it is sexual harassment. The same holds true if the harassment adversely affects an employee, resulting in their termination or demotion.
When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace in the U.S., one can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
All changes will be mandated by 2020 and we are proud of the state of California for protecting its people.
Helix Law Firm helps victims of sexual harassment
At Helix Law Firm we take matters of sexual harassment seriously. If you are a victim of workplace harassment, we want to help you. If you're interested in learning more about how Helix can help, please call us at (619) 567-4447 to schedule a free consultation.