What are newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom’s views on #MeToo legislation, and how do they compare to those of his predecessor, Jerry Brown? We may soon have answers to these questions thanks to a pair of bills introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which reintroduce harassment-related proposals vetoed by Governor Brown. Continue Reading #MeToo Reboot Presents Early Test for California Governor Gavin Newsom
California’s legislature and courts have acted to curb an employer’s ability to recover its fees and costs when it prevails in a lawsuit brought under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”, Government Code § 12940 et seq.), even if the plaintiff employee rejected the employer’s Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 offer to compromise. Continue Reading California: No Fee Award For Prevailing Employer in FEHA Action Even Where 998 Offer Rejected
Sexual harassment is a recurring theme in the bills signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown on September 30, 2018. These new laws, which take effect on January 1, 2019, continue the trend of expanding protections for California employees.
Hush-Money – Three of the bills signed by Governor Brown on September 30 target settlement agreements that prohibit disclosure of sexual harassment claims. AB 3109 makes void and unenforceable any provision in a contract or settlement agreement that waives a party’s right to testify in an administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding concerning alleged criminal conduct or sexual harassment. SB 820 prohibits settlement agreements from including a provision that prevents the disclosure of factual information related to claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. However, this bill does not prohibit confidentiality of the settlement amount. SB 1300 voids any agreement in which an employee forfeits his or her right to disclose unlawful acts in the workplace, including acts of sexual harassment.
Redefining The Hostile Work Environment Standard – SB 1300 also declares that a single incident of harassing conduct could be sufficient to create a triable issue regarding the existence of a hostile work environment in certain circumstances. Continue Reading California Enacts New Sexual Harassment Laws