The California Assembly on August 30, passed a bipartisan, 60-0 vote approved a plan to address the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment.
Authored by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell and sponsored by state Controller Betty T. Yee, Senate Bill 1343 would provide training to more California workers on preventing sexual harassment, as well as how to recognize harassment and who to contact if victimized.
The measure now returns to the Senate for concurrence on amendments.
Current law requires all employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training only to supervisors. SB 1343 would extend this requirement to employers with five or more employees, and ensure similar training in multiple languages for all workers so they know what sexual harassment is and what their rights are under the law.
Employers could comply with SB 1343 by directing employees to view California Department of Fair Employment and Housing online training, which the bill requires DFEH to produce in multiple languages, to raise employee awareness on harassment and discrimination in diverse work force sectors.
From 2005 to 2015, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received about 85,000 sexual harassment complaints. Of the charges that specified jobs, 14.2 percent came from the accommodation and food service industry, 13.4 percent came from retail trade, and 11.7 percent came from manufacturing.
The Senate is expected to vote on SB 1343 prior to tomorrow’s midnight deadline to adjourn the 2017-18 session of the Legislature.