Employment Defense: It’s Raining Complaints
If you missed recent news regarding the #MeToo movement – welcome back from outer space! The Me Too movement has been sweeping the U.S. and the world since October 2017, encouraging women and men to speak up about sexual harassment incidents.
The phenomenon was not missed by California legislators, who introduced the following two new bills:
AB 1867 would require employers with 50 or more employees to maintain records of employee complaints of sexual harassment for 10 years from the date of filing.
AB 1870 would extend the period to file a complaint of unlawful employment practice with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for one to three years from the date of the alleged unlawful practice.
Though too soon to tell whether these bills will find their way into California’s Government Code, they demonstrate the legislature’s intent to crack down on harassment in the workplace.
Meanwhile, be sure you have a written, compliant, anti-harassment policy as well as an open door policy in place. Procedures for reporting harassment should be outlined in an employee handbook or distributed to all employees in some written format.
Those with 50 or more employees should also provide training to supervisors regarding harassment, discrimination, and bullying prevention every two years, as mandated by state law.
Now, more than ever, eradicating harassment in the workplace should be a priority.
Tal Burnovski Yeyni is an Employment Defense Attorney.