Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees in California and across the country are protected against discrimination and sexual harassment. This includes any unwelcome physical or verbal advances or requests for sexual favors. Not only does sexual harassment cause mental trauma, it can interfere in a person’s ability to work by creating a toxic work environment.
A new bill signed by Governor Newsom will increase rights of victims of sexual harassment in California. Although the bill was vetoed last year by the acting governor, it passed this year under the leadership of a governor more sympathetic to the #MeToo movement. The new bill extends the period in which people have to report claims of sexual harassment from one year to three years.
Everyone has the right to work in an environment that is safe, without fear of being harassed. According to supporters, this bill gives sexual harassment victims a better opporunity to report incidents of discrimination. Prior to the bill, many employees were unaware that they had one year from the time the incident occurred to file a claim. Now, with the extended time period, employees have more time to review their legal options. Another bill included a person’s right to refuse to sign an arbitration agreement. This agreement can make it difficult for victims to find legal representation.
Victims of sexual harassment have legal rights and options to persue action. An attorney in California can help employees explore these options and help them build a case to ensure justice is served.