In January, we discussed how California added more than 30 new employment laws in 2015.
One of the laws taking effect is AB 2053, which requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide training on the prevention of abusive conduct to go along with sexual harassment training that is already required.
You may be asking yourself, ‘what is abusive conduct?’ Under AB 2053, abusive conduct is defined as the “conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests.”
The National Law Review reported that abusive conduct could include the “repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults and epithets, verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance.”
Advocates of the law claim that it will improve work environments for employees and prevent bullying. They indicated that training would now go hand-in-hand with mandated sexual harassment training.
Having Workplace Harassment Investigated
Remember, constant harassment or bullying can lead to a hostile work environment. Types of behavior that may be construed as harassment include:
- Offensive jokes
It has been proven that harassment at work can lead to employee depression and anxiety. In California, you have a right to work in a safe and comfortable environment, free from abuse. If an employer places you in an environment where you face constant harassment, it could be held responsible.
If a co-worker continually harasses you at work, make sure you speak to a supervisor or human resource worker. Additionally, document the ongoing harassment, as this could prove beneficial in any court case or legal proceeding. If it continues, it may be in your best interest to speak to a labor attorney, who can investigate your case and potentially hold your employer liable.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys
Did You Know? In 2012, a California surgeon was awarded $168 million after she claimed she experienced slurs about her gender at work.