Archives: Harassment

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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 … Continue Reading

California Governor Vetoes Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Employment Contracts

In a last-minute action on the September 30 legislative deadline, California’s Governor vetoed a bill that, among other things, would have imposed restrictions on the use of arbitration agreements for certain employment claims. Under vetoed Assembly Bill 3080, beginning on January 1, 2019, employers in California would have been barred from requiring employees and independent … Continue Reading

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. Highlights of Senate Bill 1300 (SB 1300) follows: Employer Responsibility for Nonemployees SB 1300 mandates that an employer may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees with respect to any type of harassment (not just sexual harassment) against employees … Continue Reading

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. Since 2005, employers with at least 50 employees have been required to train and educate all personnel in supervisory positions in California in the prevention of sexual … Continue Reading

No Tax Deduction for Sexual Harassment Settlements Subject to Confidentiality Provision

Congress recently passed the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act which includes Internal Revenue Code §162(q). Specifically, § 162(q) provides: No deduction is allowed for any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if the settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement. No deduction is permissible for attorneys’ fees related … Continue Reading

Employer Found Liable Where Supervisor Mocked Employee’s Stuttering Problem

In responding to claim of harassment, discrimination or retaliation based on protected categories, California employers must timely respond to and thoroughly investigate workplace complaints to avoid exposure. On July 9, 2018, a California Court of Appeal court found an employer liable where an employee was mocking a person for having a stutter on more than five, … Continue Reading

Sacramento County “Panic Button” Ordinance

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has approved an Ordinance requiring hotel and motel operators in Sacramento County to provide employees with a panic button or notification device that can be used to call for help when an employee reasonably believes sexual harassment activity is occurring in the employee’s presence. The panic button is designed … Continue Reading

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. SB-1343 seeks to amend current sexual harassment prevention training for employers.  Under current law, employers with 50 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to supervisors within six months of the supervisor’s assumption … Continue Reading

California Adds ‘Transgender,’ ‘Gender Nonconforming Individuals’ to Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors

Employers subject to California’s mandatory sexual harassment training requirement for supervisors will need to ensure their programs include prevention of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation following an amendment (SB 396) to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 396 into law. … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Reversing $1 Million Judgment against Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeals Ruled Continuing Violation Doctrine did not apply to Firefighter’s Decades-Old Race Discrimination and Harassment Claims

The California Court of Appeal reversed a $1 million judgment against the City of Los Angeles in a racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation case brought by a firefighter under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles. After 12 years of litigation and two jury trials, the Court ruled that … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Affirms that Employee Signature Acknowledging Clear Arbitration Policy Makes Policy Binding

In a recent opinion affirming an arbitrator’s judgment in favor of an employer on various employment law claims, the California Court of Appeal held that an employee agreed to arbitrate all claims against her former employee when she signed an arbitration policy contained in an easy-to-read document distinct from any other document the she signed … Continue Reading

No Employer Liability If There is No Actionable Harassment or Discrimination, California Court Rules

An employer cannot be held liable for failure to prevent sexual harassment under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) if there is no actionable sexual harassment, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Dickson v. Burke Williams, Inc., No. B253154 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015). Likewise, a jury’s finding that an employer … Continue Reading

AB 2053: Sexual Harassment Training Must Now Include the “Prevention of Abusive Conduct”

AB 2053 went into effect on January 1, 2015, thereby requiring that California employers with 50 or more employees provide training on the “prevention of abusive conduct” along with the sexual harassment training already required by law. “Abusive conduct” is defined under California Government Code section 12950.1(g)(2) as the “conduct of an employer or employee … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Finds Franchisor Not Vicariously Liable for Sexual Harassment

In a case of first impression, Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC (Cal. Aug. 28, 2014) [124 FEP Cases 994], the California Supreme Court concludes franchising does not automatically create an employment or agency relationship with a franchisor for purposes of holding it vicariously liable for the sexual harassment of a franchisee store’s employee by her … Continue Reading

California High Court Rules that Franchisors are Not Liable for Workplace Injuries Inflicted By Franchisees’ Employees

In a recent opinion with important implications for California businesses, the California Supreme Court held that franchisors are not vicariously liable for the conduct of employees managed by its franchisees. In Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, et al., the plaintiff, a service employee at a Southern California Domino’s Pizza franchise, alleged that she had been … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendment to California’s Government Code Addresses Workplace Bullying; Would Require New Training on Abusive Conduct

On May 15, 2014, the California Assembly passed a proposed amendment to California’s statute governing sexual harassment training. Currently, the statute requires employers with 50 or more employees to ensure workplaces are free of sexual harassment by providing training to their supervisory employees at least once every two years.  Such training must include information regarding … Continue Reading

Supervisor’s Conduct Supported Same-Sex Harassment Claim, California Court Rules

Finding an intern had produced sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude his supervisor engaged in a pervasive pattern of harassing conduct “because of sex,” including numerous gifts, frequent lunch purchases, along with sexual jokes and displays of pornographic computer images, the California Court of Appeal has allowed his harassment suit to proceed, reversing … Continue Reading

Protected Status for Veterans

On October 10, 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill, A.B. 556, to add “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). When this bill becomes operative on January 1, 2014, the FEHA will prohibit harassment and discrimination in employment … Continue Reading
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