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Landmark Protections Against Abuse and Sexual Harassment by Coaches, Staff, and Professors Coming to College Campuses and Universities

The Assembly Higher Education Committee Votes to Close the “Pass the Harasser” Loophole

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO —Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) scored a legislative victory when the Assembly Higher Education Committee passed Assembly Bill 810 unanimously out of committee Tuesday, moving landmark protections against abuse and sexual harassment on college and university campuses one step closer to becoming law.

There is a pernicious practice on college and university campuses. Coaches, trainers, professors, and staff members facing credible allegations of abuse, harassment, and sexual harassment begin the disciplinary process, but rather than be terminated, they resign quietly, and apply to a different college or university. And because these abusers were never convicted or terminated for their behavior, their track record disappears, forever out of reach of the background checks that colleges and universities run. So common is the practice, that it has a name: “Pass the Harasser.”

“Places of learning should not be places where abuse runs rampant and where abusers find safety due to loopholes,” says Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “Our students and campus staff deserve better.”

Under this bill, all potential athletic, academic, and administrative appointees within the CSU and CCC system will be required to sign a disclosure form authorizing the potential employer to reach out to a former employer of the applicant to make inquiries about allegations against or misconduct by the applicant. By reinforcing more accountability in the hiring process, AB 810 will promote a safer and more equitable environment for campus staff and students.

“Abuse and sexual harassment are two of the greatest barriers to success on college campuses,” says co-sponsor Kate Rodgers, Director of Policy for GenUp. “If we want future generations of students to reach their fullest potential, AB 810 is a must-pass bill.”

“It is crucial to thoroughly evaluate potential hires and volunteers not only based on their skills and qualifications, but also on their past conduct in similar roles,” says the California Faculty Association’s Legislative Director, Ron Rapp. “This not only promotes a safer environment for our students, but also fosters a more ethical and responsible culture within our athletic and academic departments.”

AB 810 now moves on to the penultimate step in the Assembly and is expected to be heard in Assembly Appropriations next Thursday.


Laura Friedman represents 44th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Los Angeles, as well as the communities of La Crescenta, Lake View Terrace, Montrose, North Hollywood, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sunland-Tujunga, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and Valley Village.