Below is a sample of one of the laws that give employees more protections for 2019.
Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Protections
Several new laws focus on increasing employee protections for 2019. The Legislature expanded an employer’s liability for harassment in numerous ways and added harassment education and training requirements. Additionally, a new law that requires female representation on boards of directors for certain California corporations was passed.
Harassment — Defamation Protection
Employers and victims of sexual harassment will now be better protected from liability for defamation by an alleged harasser after a complaint of sexual harassment has been made.
California’s current Civil Code Section 47 protects certain communications as privileged, making them immune from defamation lawsuits. However, victims of sexual harassment and employers are being sued for defamation when a complaint of sexual harassment is made. AB 2770 codifies case law to ensure victims of sexual harassment and employers will not be sued for defamation by the alleged harasser. As a result:
• Employees who report harassment, based on credible evidence and without malice, won’t be liable for injury to the alleged harasser’s reputation.
• Communications between the employer and victims/witnesses will be protected;
• An employer will now be permitted to reveal in a job reference whether the individual is not eligible for rehire because the employer determined that he/she engaged in sexual harassment;
Sexual Harassment Training
Current law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide supervisors with two hours of sexual harassment training within six months of hire or promotion. Under SB 1343, by January 1, 2020, all employers with five or more employees will be required to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors and one hour to nonsupervisory employees within six months of hire or promotion, and every two years after that. Employers who provide the training to employees in 2019 will not be required to retrain the same employees in 2020.
Temporary and seasonal employees must be trained within 30 days of hire or 100 hours worked, whichever is earlier. Temporary services employers will be responsible for training employees who are placed with clients.
HR SMALL BIZ is your partner and will work with you to stay in compliance with all regulations.