Assembly Bill 9, The Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act was signed by Governor Newsom over the weekend. The SHARE Act introduced by Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) extends the timeline to bring forward a complaint of workplace harassment and discrimination from one year to three years. AB 9 was introduced in response to the #MeToo movement and the need to update California’s laws to address workplace harassment.
“The SHARE Act was a culmination of several years of work by stakeholders and meetings that I had with those who had experienced workplace harassment and painfully shared with me their stories.” Assemblymember Reyes continued, “With the Governor’s signature employees should rest assured that the State of California has their back and will continue to demand safe working environments for all workers. AB 9 will make sure that anyone that has faced workplace harassment will have adequate time to file their claim and seek justice.”
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is designed to protect employees from workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation based on protected characteristics such as sex and gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, religion, disability, and more. Often, harassment based on gender, race, religious preferences or other protected characteristics leads to, or is connected with, sexual harassment.
“Victims of workplace harassment and other forms of discrimination often fail to come forward within one year because they are unaware of their rights or that the treatment they endured was illegal. This is especially true in low-wage industries that have higher rates of harassment. We commend Governor Newsom for signing this vital legislation.” – Jessica Stender, Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy, Equal Rights Advocates.
“We’re grateful to Governor Newsom for seeing the wisdom in this legislation,” said Consumer Attorneys of California president Mike Arias. “It will give victims a better chance to hold sexual predators accountable and in the process reduce the number of repeat offenders. Along with other #MeToo legislation, it will help create a better workplace for all Californians.”
“We applaud Governor Newsom for signing this critically important #MeToo bill into law,” said Mariko Yoshihara, Policy Director for the California Employment Lawyers Association. “As we’ve seen with the #MeToo movement, often it takes time before a person feels safe and comfortable enough to report on their own experience of harassment. AB 9 reflects this important reality and will ensure that more workers are not timed-barred from seeking justice.”