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AB-3081 Employment: sexual harassment.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/05/2018 04:00 AM
AB3081:v91#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 04, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  August 29, 2018
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 30, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 24, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 17, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 09, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 26, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3081


Introduced by Assembly Members Gonzalez Fletcher and Bonta

February 16, 2018


An act to add Section 12940.2 to the Government Code, and to amend Section 230 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3081, Gonzalez Fletcher. Employment: sexual harassment.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits various actions as unlawful employment practices and makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, apprenticeship training program, or any training program leading to employment, to engage in harassment of an employee or other specified person. FEHA also makes harassment of those persons by an employee, other than an agent or supervisor, unlawful if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of this conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. Under FEHA, an employer may also be responsible for the acts of nonemployees, with respect to sexual harassment of employees and other specified persons, if the employer, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. FEHA defines harassment for these purposes to include sexual harassment, gender harassment, and harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Existing law also requires a client employer, as defined, to share with a labor contractor, as defined, all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for all workers supplied by that labor contractor for the payment of wages and the failure to obtain valid workers’ compensation coverage.
This bill would require a client employer to share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for harassment for all workers supplied by that labor contractor.
Existing law prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off work to obtain specified relief or because of the employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the victim provides notice to the employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status. Existing law authorizes an employee to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for a violation of these prohibitions or that reasonable accommodations requirement within one year from the date of occurrence of the violation. Existing law makes it a misdemeanor for an employer to refuse to rehire, promote, or restore an employee who has been determined to be so eligible by a grievance procedure or legal hearing.
This bill would also prohibit an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee because of the employee’s status as a victim of sexual harassment, as defined by FEHA. The bill would establish a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation based on the employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking if an employer takes specific actions within 30 days following the date that the victim provides notice to the employer or the employer has actual knowledge of the status. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 12940.2 is added to the Government Code, to read:

12940.2.
 (a) A client employer shall share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for harassment, as described in subdivision (j) of Section 12940, for all workers supplied by that labor contractor.
(1) A client employer shall not shift to the labor contractor any legal duties or liabilities under Division 5 (commencing with Section 6300) of the Labor Code with respect to workers supplied by the labor contractor.
(2) At least 30 days prior to filing a civil action against a client employer for violations covered by this section, a worker or his or her representative shall notify the client employer of violations under this section.
(3) The client employer and the labor contractor shall not take any adverse action against any worker for providing notification of violations or for filing a claim or civil action.
(b) The provisions of this section are in addition to, and shall be supplemental of, any other theories of liability or requirement established by statute or common law.
(c) “Client employer,” “labor contractor,” “labor,” and “worker” shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 2810.3 of the Labor Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 230 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

230.
 (a) An employer shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law on an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee, prior to taking the time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that the employee is required to serve.
(b) An employer shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee, including, but not limited to, an employee who is a victim of a crime, for taking time off to appear in court to comply with a subpoena or other court order as a witness in any judicial proceeding.
(c) An employer shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim or his or her child.
(d) (1) As a condition of taking time off for a purpose set forth in subdivision (c), the employee shall give the employer reasonable advance notice of the employee’s intention to take time off, unless the advance notice is not feasible.
(2) When an unscheduled absence occurs, the employer shall not take any action against the employee if the employee, within a reasonable time after the absence, provides a certification to the employer. Certification shall be sufficient in the form of any of the following:
(A) A police report indicating that the employee was a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(B) A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator of an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting attorney that the employee has appeared in court.
(C) Documentation from a licensed medical professional, domestic violence counselor, as defined in Section 1037.1 of the Evidence Code, a sexual assault counselor, as defined in Section 1035.2 of the Evidence Code, licensed health care provider, or counselor that the employee was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting in victimization from an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(3) To the extent allowed by law and consistent with subparagraph (D) of paragraph (7) of subdivision (f), the employer shall maintain the confidentiality of any employee requesting leave under subdivision (c).
(e) (1) An employer shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee because of the employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking, if the victim provides notice to the employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status.
(2) There shall be a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation for purposes of this subdivision if an employer, within 30 days following the date that the victim provides notice to the employer or the employer has actual knowledge of the status, discharges, threatens to discharge, demotes, suspends, or in any manner discriminates against the employee.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “harassment” shall be defined as in subdivision (j) of Section 12940 of the Government Code.
(f) (1) An employer shall provide reasonable accommodations for a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking who requests an accommodation for the safety of the victim while at work.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, reasonable accommodations may include the implementation of safety measures, including a transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, changed work telephone, changed work station, installed lock, assistance in documenting domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that occurs in the workplace, an implemented safety procedure, or another adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility, or work requirement in response to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or referral to a victim assistance organization.
(3) An employer is not required to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who has not disclosed his or her status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(4) The employer shall engage in a timely, good faith, and interactive process with the employee to determine effective reasonable accommodations.
(5) In determining whether the accommodation is reasonable, the employer shall consider an exigent circumstance or danger facing the employee.
(6) This subdivision does not require the employer to undertake an action that constitutes an undue hardship on the employer’s business operations, as defined by Section 12926 of the Government Code. For the purposes of this subdivision, an undue hardship also includes an action that would violate an employer’s duty to furnish and maintain a place of employment that is safe and healthful for all employees as required by Section 6400 of the Labor Code.
(7) (A) Upon the request of an employer, an employee requesting a reasonable accommodation pursuant to this subdivision shall provide the employer a written statement signed by the employee or an individual acting on the employee’s behalf, certifying that the accommodation is for a purpose authorized under this subdivision.
(B) The employer may also request certification from an employee requesting an accommodation pursuant to this subdivision demonstrating the employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Certification shall be sufficient in the form of any of the categories described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d).
(C) An employer who requests certification pursuant to subparagraph (B) may request recertification of an employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking every six months after the date of the previous certification.
(D) Any verbal or written statement, police or court record, or other documentation provided to an employer identifying an employee as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking shall be maintained as confidential by the employer and shall not be disclosed by the employer except as required by federal or state law or as necessary to protect the employee’s safety in the workplace. The employee shall be given notice before any authorized disclosure.
(E) (i) If circumstances change and an employee needs a new accommodation, the employee shall request a new accommodation from the employer.
(ii) Upon receiving the request, the employer shall engage in a timely, good faith, and interactive process with the employee to determine effective reasonable accommodations.
(F) If an employee no longer needs an accommodation, the employee shall notify the employer that the accommodation is no longer needed.
(8) An employer shall not retaliate against a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for requesting a reasonable accommodation, regardless of whether the request was granted.
(g) (1) An employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has taken time off for a purpose set forth in subdivision (a) or (b) shall be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer.
(2) An employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer for reasons prohibited in subdivision (c) or (e), or because the employee has requested or received a reasonable accommodation as set forth in subdivision (f), shall be entitled to reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer, as well as appropriate equitable relief.
(3) An employer who willfully refuses to rehire, promote, or otherwise restore an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure or hearing authorized by law is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(h) (1) An employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has exercised his or her rights as set forth in subdivision (a), (b), (c), (e), or (f) may file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the Department of Industrial Relations pursuant to Section 98.7.
(2) Notwithstanding any time limitation in Section 98.7, an employee may file a complaint with the division based upon a violation of subdivision (c), (e), or (f) within one year from the date of occurrence of the violation.
(i) An employee may use vacation, personal leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available to the employee under the applicable terms of employment, unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement, for time taken off for a purpose specified in subdivision (a), (b), or (c). The entitlement of any employee under this section shall not be diminished by any collective bargaining agreement term or condition.
(j) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Domestic violence” means any of the types of abuse set forth in Section 6211 of the Family Code, as amended.
(2) “Sexual assault” means any of the crimes set forth in Section 261, 261.5, 262, 265, 266, 266a, 266b, 266c, 266g, 266j, 267, 269, 273.4, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.5, 289, or 311.4 of the Penal Code, as amended.
(3) “Stalking” means a crime set forth in Section 646.9 of the Penal Code or Section 1708.7 of the Civil Code.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.