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California makes changes to sexual harassment laws

As more and more women enter the workforce and hold high-ranking positions within a company, more attention has been placed on the topic of sexual harassment. Women and men alike have been victimized by sexual harassment in the workplace, but with the #metoo movement in full force, California and other states in the nation are implementing new laws regarding this form of workplace bullying.

Eight bills were signed with the goal of ensuring gender diversity on company boards and preventing sexual harassment at work. One bill is designed to minimize worker harassment by prohibiting employers from making employees sign certain documents, including one that bans employees from releasing information about unlawful acts that occur in the workplace. Another bill is aimed at allowing certain information involved in sexual harassment cases to be released to the public. Previously, the only information available to the public was the name of the person who filed the claim, as well as the amount of money paid to settle the claim.

One bill that is getting a fair amount of attention requires all publicly traded companies to have at least one female director by the end of the year. Furthermore, these companies must have at least two women on every five-member board by the end of 2021.

When people feel as though they are victimized at work, they may want to take action. An attorney involved in workplace harassment and discrimination may be helpful to those who have been harassed by their employer.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “New California harassment laws take effect Jan 1.,” Kathleen Pender, Dec. 31, 2018.

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