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The "#MeToo Effect" on California Legislation

The #MeToo movement was born soon after the explosive New York Times feature exposing extensive allegations of sexual harassment against Harry Weinstein. Since then, we have seen many other public figures brought into the spotlight including actors, politicians, TV personalities and comedians.

During the last year, we have received higher than normal requests for company-sponsored training. While many requests have been for harassment prevention training, we have also seen an increase in requests for workplace culture, effective communication, and behavioral training.

Current California law states that employers with 50 or more employees must provide two hours of compliant harassment prevention training to supervisory employees every two years. This training must also be provided to newly promoted supervisors within six months. Governor Brown just signed SB 1343 which will now require employers with 5 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training. SB 1343 also widens the scope by stating ALL employees, supervisors, and non-supervisors must receive this training every two years.

This topic is not going away. SB 1343 was introduced less than five months after the Harvey Weinstein story broke. It was approved by Governor Brown within 12 months of the start of the #MeToo movement. This is one example of new legislation for 2019. We will discuss additional pieces in future posts. California has felt the effects of this movement and will continue to do so for years to come.