In the first part of this series we explored the #metoo movement and its effect on labor and employment laws. We discussed a few laws that have been enacted recently in California and today I want to continue where we left off.
Being that the #metoo movement ostensibly began with the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, it is fitting that a law has been put into place that deals specifically with the entertainment industry. AB 2338 requires a talent agency to provide educational materials on sexual harassment, prevention, and retaliation. It also requires agencies to provide information regarding nutrition and eating disorders to their artists. If the artist is a minor then the material must be provided to their legal guardian.
Talent agencies are considered standard employers and as such must adhere to the state’s basic labor laws as it pertains to their employees: labor posters, safe working environments, minimum wage requirements; the whole nine yards. However, they also are subject to licensure by the State of California because of the way they represent artists that may not necessarily be their employees. Prior to the issuance or renewal of their license, the agency must confirm with the commissioner that is has provided, and will continue to provide, the materials listed above.
SB 1300 is a little more far reaching with quite a few provisions that may be familiar to California employers. The DFEH (Department of Fair Employment and Housing) already administers and enforces many discrimination laws, including the mandatory “California Law Prohibits workplace Discrimination and Harassment” poster but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with how SB 1300 amends those practices and laws:
- It is unlawful to “exchange for a raise or bonus, or as a condition of employment or continued employment” a requirement that the employee sign a release of claim or right.
- A prevailing defendant (employer) is prohibited from being awarded their legal costs unless it can be proved that the suit was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless when brought.
- The bill prohibits non-disparagement or other agreements that would “deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.”
(To be Continued)