Californians have seen movement in the Legislature over the last year, with a flurry of activity relating to the powerful “Me Too” movement.
We’ve brought you a few of these topics over the last few months, but we want to recap this legislative year to show just how much work has been completed.
We also want to highlight how much more work still needs to be done.
It really because of last October when a group of female lobbyists, inspired by the focus on sexual harassment in Hollywood, wrote a letter calling for the same uncovering of misconduct in California politics.
Under pressure, lawmakers responded.
The power of the movement says Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, “…was definitely distracting, there’s no question. When you have a bit of collective trauma with the whole building, the whole Capitol community, people do need to talk it through.”
Some of those proposals targeted specific industries. Some of the bills would force businesses to overhaul how they handle reports of misconduct, including keeping records for five years after the accused person or complainant leaves the company.
Another one and perhaps one of the most powerful is a bill that would keep employers from forcing workers to settle harassment claims in private arbitration instead of court. It has been found that arbiters tend to side with the company rather than the accuser, mostly so they can keep their business.
We are glad this is being discussed so heavily and in such high office across the state. The movement is long overdue and progress is finally being made.
Along the way, we need to acknowledge that inappropriate behavior takes place in all industries, not just with Hollywood moguls and business executives.
The people most at risk are long income hourly workers who feel that they have to put up with harassment so they can keep their jobs. They are afraid of losing their jobs, so they just stay silent.
Silence can no longer be the norm.
If you have been harassed in the workplace, you have options. If you are afraid to report it, that is okay. We can help. If you have reported it and been retaliated against or lost your job, we will help you recover compensation. At the Kaufman Law Group, we believe everyone has the right to be treated with dignity in the workplace and will fight to ensure you are treated fairly.