Assemblymember Reyes Introduces Legislation to Assist Victims of Harassment

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sacramento– In one of her first acts after being sworn in for her second term in the Assembly, Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) introduced, along with Assemblymember Laura Friedman, AB 9 which extends the administrative timeline to bring forward a complaint of workplace harassment from one year to three years.

“Time and again, we’ve seen universal recognition of the need for change inside our workplace environment and culture,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “Numerous media stories, witness and survivor testimonies have all demonstrated that one year is simply not enough time to bring forward a complaint.  For many workers they may not even be aware of their rights, nor even realize that they can report the harassing behavior.”

“Every victim of harassment deserves fair access to justice,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale).  “Extending the window to file a claim helps level the playing field and it’s long-overdue.”

"This bill is the very essence of the #MeToo movement and is very much needed in California," said Mike Arias, Consumer Attorneys of California president. "It will give victims of harassment or discrimination, particularly low-wage workers unfamiliar with their legal rights, a better chance to hold sexual predators accountable and help protect other potential victims. The Legislature demonstrated its full support for this change at every step of the process last year, and we have high hopes our new governor will join in backing this important legislation."

“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 applaud the introduction of this important piece of legislation.” – Jessica Stender, Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy, Equal Rights Advocates.

“This bill will provide much-needed protection for workers who face threats of retaliation when filing legal claims.  By the time workers feel emotionally and economically secure to file, they have often missed their deadline.  It’s time that the law recognized the real effect of trauma on survivors of discrimination and harassment.”  – Mariko Yoshihara, Policy Director for the California Employment Lawyers Association.

Last year, AB 1870 The Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act, had wide, bi-partisan support in both the Assembly and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Brown. The new measure, AB 9, illustrates Assemblymember Reyes’ and the Legislature’s continued commitment to protecting workers and holding perpetrators accountable. 

 

Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.

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Contact: Mark Farouk, mark.farouk@asm.ca.gov, (916) 319-2047