California enacts sweeping legislation designed to address the #MeToo movement

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law four new bills addressing harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

  • Senate Bill 826 mandates that public companies based in California have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019. That number increases in 2021 depending on the size of the board.
  • Senate Bill 820 bans confidential settlement agreements in cases involving sexual assault, sexual harassment or sex discrimination.
  • Senate Bill 1343 requires that employers with five or more employees provide mandatory sexual harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020 and every two years thereafter.
  • Senate Bill 1300 dramatically changes the landscape for employers seeking to get sexual harassment cases dismissed through a motion for summary judgment, declaring, among other things, that a single incident of harassing conduct defeats such a motion.

The governor vetoed three other bills relating to harassment and discrimination in the workplace, including one making mandatory arbitration agreements unlawful (Assembly Bills 3080, 1867 and 1870). The text of all vetoed and approved bills can be found here.

 

 

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