Assemblymembers Say “Time’s Up”, Introduce Legislation to Empower Victims and Protect Due Process

Thursday, January 18, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 18, 2018

Allison Ruff (916-319-2043)

allison.ruff@asm.ca.gov

 

Bipartisan group of Assemblymembers unveils legislative response to growing outcry against all forms of harassment

 

Sacramento – Earlier today, Assemblymembers Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) & Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) alongside industry stakeholders and advocates in the “Me Too” movement, held a press conference to announce the introduction of AB 1870, the SHARE Act (Stopping Harassment and Reporting Extension) aimed at addressing harassment in the workplace.

Recent events all around the country have underlined the desperate need for increased protections and tools for victims of harassment. Starting with a letter last September that was signed by hundreds of women around the capitol regarding inappropriate behavior and harassment, the State Capitol has been embroiled in controversy that underscores a systemic and institutional problem that has existed around the Capitol for decades.

“We must take proactive steps to ensure that victims are protected and that they know they are not alone,” Said Assemblymember Reyes. “They must never feel intimidated to share their story. AB 1870 will allow victims the time they need to seek justice and protect due process so that every Californian has equal access to recourse.”

While hearings were conducted in the weeks following initial allegations, it became clear that many safeguards were lacking when it came to protecting employees who had been victims of harassment. In many cases, victims attested that in fact, many had not come forward because of a well-founded fear of retaliation and that they didn’t have any faith in bringing complaints forward. 

“For decades, the deck has been stacked against victims of sexual harassment,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Chair of the Joint Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response.  “Ending workplace harassment shouldn’t be a partisan issue.  With AB 1870, we’re coming together to ensure that every Californian has access to justice.”

The bill would extend the statute of limitations on claims of harassment from its current period of just one year to three under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Extending the statute of limitations for victims of harassment will ensure that legal remedies will be protected while fears of retaliation or harm are still possible.

"Extending the time victims can report ensures they are supported and empowered to speak out when they feel comfortable. Violators should not be able to avoid accountability simply because a claim is not filed within 12 months," said Marie Waldron, the Assembly Republican Floor Leader.

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Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.