Sexual Harassment Training and Prevention Bills Under Review by Governor Brown
The nationwide movement to increase awareness and strengthen women’s rights holds true in the California legislature. With an unprecedented amount of introduced bills dealing with various aspects of sexual harassment, we cover three below that made their way from chamber to chamber and recently to Governor Brown for signature.
AB-2079 – Janitorial workers: sexual violence and harassment prevention training
Existing California law provides that no employer may conduct any janitorial business without a valid registration and all employers must be registered with Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). A business must register with DLSE and pay an initial application fee of $500 and an annual renewal fee of $500. AB 2079 expands requirements when applying to register as a janitorial business and expands sexual harassment prevention training. Specifically, this bill would require the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations to form an advisory committee to refine the recommendations of a different advisory committee on in-person sexual violence and harassment prevention training requirements for janitorial employers and employees. The Senate amended the original bill by changing the rate of pay for peer trainers from at least twenty five dollars an hour to at least twice the minimum wage; clarifying that training provided under the provisions of this law shall be in lieu of, and not in addition to, the requirements for training under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; narrowing the measure to require employers to provide training to nonsupervisory training employees from the list of qualified organizations developed and maintained by the DLSE; and clarifying record keeping and registration requirements in existing law. AB 2079 was officially enrolled on September 10, 2018 and is awaiting Governor Brown’s signature.
AB 2338 – Talent Agencies; education on sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and nutrition
Existing California law requires talent agencies to be licensed by the Labor Commissioner and to comply with specified employment laws applicable to talent agencies. Further, California regulates the employment of minors in the entertainment industry and requires the written consent of the Labor Commissioner for a minor to take part in certain types of employment. AB 2338 would require a talent agency within 90 days of retention, to provide educational materials on sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources and nutrition and eating disorders to its artists, would require those educational materials to be in a language the artist understands, and would require the licensee, as part of the application for license renewal, to confirm with the commissioner that it has and will continue to provide the relevant educational materials. Talent agencies would also have to retain, for three years, records showing that those educational materials were provided. AB 2338 would require, prior to the issuance of a permit to employ a minor in the entertainment industry, that an age-eligible minor and the minor’s parent or legal guardian receive and complete training in sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources. The bill would further require a talent agency to request and retain a copy of the minor’s entertainment work permit prior to representing or sending a minor artist on an audition, meeting, or interview for engagement of the minor’s services. This bill would make it a violation of existing laws for a talent agency to fail to comply with the bill’s education and permit retention requirements and would authorize the commissioner to assess civil penalties of $100 for each violation, as prescribed. AB 2338 was enrolled by the legislature and presented to the Governor on September 6, 2018.
AB 3082 – Sexual harassment materials to IHSS providers and recipients
Existing California law establishes the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, administered by the State Department of Social Services and counties, under which qualified aged, blind, and disabled persons receive services enabling them to remain in their own homes. Existing law requires a prospective IHSS provider to complete a provider orientation at the time of enrollment that includes, among other things, the requirements to be an eligible IHSS provider, a description of the IHSS program, and the rules, regulations, and provider-related processes and procedures under the IHSS program. AB 3082 would require the Department of Social Services, in consultation with interested stakeholders, to develop, or otherwise identify, standard educational material about sexual harassment and the prevention thereof to be made available to IHSS providers and recipients and a proposed method for uniform data collection to identify the prevalence of sexual harassment in the IHSS program. The bill would require the department, on or before September 30, 2019, to provide a copy of the educational material and a description of the proposed method for uniform data collection to the relevant budget and policy committees of the Legislature. AB 3082 was approved by the legislature on September 5, 2018.
California Employment Law
Leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley will continue to monitor these bills until Governor Brown takes action. In the meantime, if you have any questions about California’s wage and hour laws, contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced labor lawyers.
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