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Total Articles: 21

California Restricts Confidentiality Provisions Concerning Information Related to Sexual Harassment

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed three bills into law that restrict employers in the securement of non-disclosure, release, and non-disparagement agreements that attempt to limit parties in discussing sexual harassment-related factual information.

Claims of Workplace Harassment in California to Receive Greater Protections under New Law

Beginning January 1, 2019, new California law creates several new protections for employees bringing harassment claims.

New California Law Requires Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and Non-Supervisors

California employers with at least five employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training and education to all supervisory employees and non-supervisory employees in California by January 1, 2020.

New California Law Alert! Expanded Requirements for Talent Agencies to Provide Sexual Harassment and Eating Disorder Related Education and Training to Its Artists

Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill 2338 which requires talent agencies licensed by the California Labor Commissioner to provide materials related to sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, among others, to its artists. Additionally, the bill requires that prior to receiving a permit to employ a minor in the entertainment industry, the minor’s parent or legal guardian must participate in trainings related to sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources.

California, Other States Look to End Arbitration, Nondisclosure Agreements for Harassment Claims

The California legislature passed a new bill restricting the use of nondisclosure and mandatory arbitration agreements in sexual harassment claims. The bill was passed in response to the #MeToo movement and the discovery of numerous instances of workplace sexual harassment where the victims were forced to remain silent to settle their claims. The bill has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown's office, but he has not given any indication of whether he will sign it. Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2015.

California Enacts a Privileged Communication Law Regarding Sexual Harassment Claims

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many states have been making concerted efforts to address and prevent sexual harassment through proposed legislation. On July 9, California Governor Jerry Brown signed one of those proposals, Assembly Bill 2770, into law. This measure targets defamation claims stemming from sexual harassment allegations. Under the law, certain employee and employer statements regarding sexual harassment allegations are deemed privileged and therefore cannot be used to support a defamation claim.

Sexual Harassment Bills to Watch Before the California Legislature

Several significant employment law bills relating to sexual harassment are pending before the California legislature which could significantly affect employer practices.

Sexual Harassment Dominates California Legislation in 2018

As we discussed back in January, sexual harassment appears to be the hot topic for the California State Legislature’s 2018 session. This is certainly not a surprise, as issues related to sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement have dominated discussion across all industries and sectors of business, entertainment, sports, and politics.

How to Comply With California’s New Requirement to Provide Anti-Harassment Training on Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sexual Orientation

On October 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 396, a new law that requires employers in California with 50 or more employees to provide training on policies that prohibit harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. This training is to be provided as a component of the already-required two-hour sexual harassment training provided to supervisory employees once every two years and within six months of an employee’s assumption of a supervisory position.

California Expands Harassment Training Requirements

On October 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 396 into law. California employers with 50 or more employees currently must provide two hours of sexual harassment training for supervisors every two years. This legislation expands the subjects that the mandatory supervisor training must include.

New California Bill Would Require Sexual Harassment Training to Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Harassment

As introduced, Senate Bill 396 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) dealt with medical residence training programs. However, recently the contents of the bill were stripped out and replaced with new and unrelated language (a procedure referred to as a “gut and amend” in legislative lingo). The new language proposes to expand California employers’ obligations regarding sexual harassment training.

California’s Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Requirements Amended

New California Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations that went into effect April 1, 2016, requiring employers to have a discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and prevention policy also set new benchmarks for mandatory sexual harassment training procedures.

The New California Regulations Part III Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Training

The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved regulations drafted by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council. These new regulations, covering the entire gamut of employment law topics within the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), will go into effect on April 1, 2016.

New Harassment/Discrimination Prevention Policy Requirements Take Effect April 1

California's Fair Employment and Housing Council ("FEHC") has adopted new regulations under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") that take effect April 1. For the most part, the new regulations reflect recent changes in the law (e.g. making clear that FEHA protects interns and volunteers and persons providing services pursuant to a contract). However, the new regulations contain an important new substantive requirement that employers adopt a written discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prevention policy that meets specified requirements. According to the FEHC, this new policy requirement is in furtherance of employers' obligation to prevent (and not just correct) discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace, and is in addition to employers' existing obligation to provide its workforce with a copy of the DFEH brochure on sexual harassment (DFEH-185) and/or an alternative anti-harassment policy that complies with Government Code section 12950.

California Policies Against Harassment Face New Regulations

California employers will need to comply with a new set of regulations from California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council that go into effect April 1, 2016. Among other things, these regulations require employers with five or more employees to have a written policy against unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace, and the regulations require the policies to meet certain requirements.

New California Regulations on Workplace Anti-Harassment, Anti-Discrimination Policies Effective April 1

New California regulations declaring that “[e]mployers have an affirmative duty to create a workplace environment that is free from employment practices prohibited by” the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and that “[e]mployers have an affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct” will go into effect on April 1, 2016.

California Court of Appeal Reminds Employers About the Importance of Thorough Harassment Investigations

Dawson v. Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, No. D064654 (March 23, 2015): In an unpublished opinion, a California Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the employer, Country Club of Rancho Bernardo, in a food and beverage manager’s sexual harassment case against the Club and her supervisor. This case serves as a reminder for employers to take sexual harassment complaints seriously, given that the failure to do so could have costly implications down the road.

California Adopts Unprecedented "Yes Means Yes" Law, Changing the Way Colleges Must Investigate Sexual Assault Allegations

On September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown announced that he had signed SB967, the so-called Yes Means Yes bill into law.

Under New California Law -- No Proof of Sexual Desire Required to Prove Sexual Harassment

On August 12, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 292 which amends section 12940 of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The bill addresses the decision in Kelley v. Conoco Companies and clarifies that an individual who sues for sexual harassment under state law need not prove that the sexually harassing conduct was motivated by sexual desire.

Connecticut Governor Vetoes Bill Regulating Non-Compete Agreements

On July 12, 2013, Governor Dannel Malloy vetoed legislation that would have limited the use of non-compete agreements in Connecticut (which we covered in a recent issue of the Connecticut eAuthority). The bill would have imposed certain requirements on the use of non-compete agreements in the context of mergers and acquisitions. Using his veto authority, Governor Malloy sent the law back to the state’s General Assembly, citing its potential to produce legal uncertainty and ambiguity due to undefined and unclear terms.

Court Reverses $1.4 Million Spanking Verdict Due To Flawed Jury Instructions.

A state appellate court in California recently reversed a $1.4 million jury verdict in favor of an employee who claimed that she and others were spanked during company sales meetings. According to the California Court of Appeal, since the jury was not instructed that to prevail the employee had to show that the harassment occurred because she was female, the verdict could not stand. Orlando v. Alarm One, Inc., No. F050759, F051470, California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (January 14, 2008).