Los Angeles Office Location
Hennig Ruiz & Singh
Not sure if you have a legal case? Call us to talk to a lawyer:
Free Consultations
213-985-1305
One Of The Most Successful Workers' Rights Trial Law Firms In California

New sexual harassment laws make it simpler to come forward

Sexual harassment has been in the forefront of our national consciousness for the past year, and as a result California is starting to take actionable steps to make reporting easier for victims.

The state legislature passed, and Governor Jerry Brown signed, S.B. 1300 last month, which allows workers to sue for a single incident of harassment. This law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D), the bill's author, said this law ends a "free pass for unlawful behavior" in the workplace. It changes the legal standard by rejecting a 2000 federal appellate court ruling, which said harassment must be "severe or pervasive" to violate California law. The California Employment Lawyers Association and Equal Rights Advocates has stated this ruling has allowed perpetrators to get "one free grope" without facing liability over the past 18 years.

Speaking up about sexual harassment

It also prohibits non-disparagement or other agreements that would "deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment." That means an employer cannot compel you to stay silent about harassment. The law also prohibits employers from requiring their employees to release claims or rights in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment.

However, the law's restrictions would not apply to "a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve an underlying claim . . . that has been filed by an employee in court, before an administrative agency, alternative dispute resolution forum, or through an employer's internal complaint process," as long as the agreement the employee enters under is voluntary and involves valuable consideration.

Harassment motivated by a person's sex

What often gets missed about sexual harassment, especially as high-profile cases of harassment and assault have dominated the news, is that the harassment does not have to be motivated by someone else's sexual interest in the victim. It simply means that the conduct of the harasser is motivated by the victim's sex.

Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace deserves the dignity of respectful and harassment-free employment. Hopefully these new laws will make their avenues for justice easier to navigate.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super lawyers
  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles

What Our Clients Say About Us

  1. I needed great attorneys in a short period of time, it was an emergency situation. Some research led me to the Hennig, Ruiz & Singh. We spoke on the phone and they had me come into the office and started on my case immediately. They got me exactly what I wanted and did it in the shortest amount of time possible. They were caring, fair and extremely good at what they do. I definitely would recommend them to anyone. -Scott Rooney

  2. If you are looking for legal representation I would suggest for you to consider Hennig, Ruiz & Singh. Put succinctly, their legal team was intelligent, hard working, responsive, and very knowledgeable throughout our time working together. While I of course cannot divulge details about the assistance that the firm provided for me, I can and will say that their representation was pivotal and changed my life for the better beyond words... -Shane Guglielmo

  3. I went to this firm to have a separation letter reviewed and met a young lawyer named Janet Hong. She was extremely friendly, professional, thorough and quick. She reviewed the documentation promptly and gave me actionable advice. I was able to resolve everything quickly. I would not hesitate to recommend Janet to anyone seeking legal services. -Brendan Hagerty

Schedule a Free Consultation

Ready To Start Protecting Your Rights? Call 213-985-1305

Not Sure Whether You Need Lawyer?

Answer a few questions to see whether you have a case.
Get Started Here

Office Location

Hennig Ruiz & Singh
3600 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 1908
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Toll Free: 800-260-6542
Fax: (213) 310-8302
Map & Directions

Free Consultations

Contact Us