PROPOSED LAW WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO FILE DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT CLAIMS AGAINST CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS

Senate Bill 1300 (Jackson) seeks to expand liability in discrimination and harassment by lowering the legal standard for legal claims.  Currently, only harassment that is “severe or pervasive” is actionable.  As such, the law is not designed to allow claimants to bring claims based on a single offensive remark or act.  SB 1300 creates a new private right of action for failure to prevent harassment or discrimination which is written to significantly lower that standard by providing that a claimant need only prove “that the conduct would meet the legal standard for harassment or discrimination if it increased in severity or became pervasive.” (emphasis added).

If passed into law, SB 1300 would create a basis for a lawsuit against every employer for any vulgar or insensitive comment.  The law would apply to both independent contractors and employees and will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the number of claims filed.

In addition, SB 1300 seeks to expand sexual harassment training requirements from the current standard which states that employers with 50 or more employees or independent contractors must train supervisors every 2 years or within 6 months of promotion or hire.  The new standard would apply training requirements to all employees and all employers subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act, along with expanded bystander intervention training.

 

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP.  It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked.  So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again.  This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing.  No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits).  But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you.  And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry).  Big news: Copyright 2018.  All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it.  If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.