Bill to Address Repeat Sexual Harassers in the Workplace Signed by the Governor
SACRAMENTO – An important piece of legislation authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) was signed into law by Governor Brown. This bill (AB 2770) helps protect victims and employers from frivolous lawsuits and will address the issue of repeat sexual harassers.
“As more stories of sexual harassment came to light this year, it became clear that businesses are afraid to let each other know when a person is fired for sexual harassment due to the threat of lawsuits. This allows repeat harassers to continue to victimize women in the workplace as they move from job to job,” said Assemblymember Irwin. “Further, we learned that harassers have been using lawsuits to silence and intimidate victims and employers. AB 2770 will end this practice and ensure that employers can communicate openly about employees with a history of harassment. I’m extremely grateful that Governor Brown signed AB 2770 into law.
AB 2770 provides protections for former employers to speak openly to prospective employers about sexual harassment investigations that determined the employee engaged in sexual harassment. It also makes clear that credible claims of sexual harassment by victims to their employers are protected; making it less likely an accused harasser will file defamation suits against the victim.
This legislation, one of only a handful of bills that have been designated as “job-creators” by the California Chamber of Commerce, is supported by all the Ventura County Chambers as well as numerous businesses and business advocacy organizations.
“This law provides employers with the tools to be part of the sexual harassment solution, without the risk of liability,” said President and CEO of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, Nancy Lindholm. “It is a great step forward. We applaud Assemblymember Irwin for authoring the bill.”
Earlier this year, the bill passed through the Assembly with a 72-0 vote and the State Senate with a 36-0 vote.
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, Casa Conejo, Channel Islands Beach, El Rio, Lake Sherwood, Moorpark, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Rosa Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.