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Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

I’m pleased to announce that I will be conducting sexual harassment prevention training on August 29th in Pleasanton. The training is being hosted by the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance in an effort to help non-profits complete their required training. Anyone is welcome–you don’t have to be a non-profit–but nonprofit agencies are part of TVNPA get a special discount.

The full Press Release is below. I hope to see you there.

TVNPA Offers Sexual Harassment Prevention Seminar

On Thursday, August 29, the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance (TVNPA) is offering a sexual harassment prevention seminar. Starting in 2019, all for-profit and non-profit organizations state-wide with five or more employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training for their employees, and this seminar satisfies that requirement. The training is also open to non-profit volunteers and board members.

The seminar will be held from 8:30-11:15 AM at Hively (formerly Child Care Links), located at 6100 Owens Drive in Pleasanton. The seminar includes a one-hour session for all employees from 9-10 AM and an additional one-hour session for supervisory staff from 10:15-11:15 AM. For complete details and to register visit www.tvnpa.org. TVNPA members receive a registration discount.

Robert Nuddleman, a Pleasanton attorney who has specialized in employment and business law for over 20 years, will lead both sessions. Nuddleman encourages attendees to bring questions and share their relevant experiences during the sessions and will incorporate role-playing to make the seminar as engaging as possible. “This will be a great opportunity for attendees to get guidance in an extremely sensitive area from someone who has litigated sexual harassment cases for many years.”

Organizations that fail to complete the training by January 1, 2020 “could possibly be cited by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing,” says Nuddleman. “More importantly, the absence of training could be used as evidence that the employer failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment.”

“Most importantly,” Nuddleman adds, “educating employees about inappropriate workplace conduct, and what to do if someone is a victim of, or is aware of, potentially inappropriate conduct, can create a positive work environment.”

After 2019, organizations will be required to complete sexual harassment prevention training every two years. For FAQ’s visit https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/employment-faqs/sexual-harassment-faqs/

For more information about TVNPA visit www.tvnpa.org

New Law Prohibits Sexual Orientation Violence

Existing law prohibits “gender violence.” Gender violence includes, “A physical intrusion or physical invasion of a sexual nature under coercive conditions.”  It does not matter whether or not those acts have resulted in criminal complaints, charges, prosecution, or conviction.  However, gender violence could also include conduct that would:

constitute a criminal offense under state law that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, committed at least in part based on the gender of the victim, whether or not those acts have resulted in criminal complaints, charges, prosecution, or conviction.

New Law Prohibits Sexual Orientation Violence

Effective January 1, 2016, a new law expands protection to persons suffering violence as a result of their sexual orientation.  AB 830 amends the definition of “gender” under Civil Code 52.4, and adds Civil Code 52.45.  This new law prohibits sexual orientation violence.  Like gender violence, sexual orientation violence includes, conduct that would:

constitute a criminal offense under state law that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, committed at least in part based on the sexual orientation of the victim, whether or not those acts have resulted in criminal complaints, charges, prosecution, or conviction.

Unlike gender violence, sexual orientation violence does not include the broader “physical intrusion or physical invasion of a sexual nature under coercive conditions” definition.  It’s not clear why the legislature decided to afford less protection when the violence is based on sexual orientation as opposed to gender.

Why is this important to employers and employees?  The existing law and the amended law state:

Notwithstanding any other laws that may establish the liability of an employer for the acts of an employee, this section does not establish any civil liability of a person because of his or her status as an employer, unless the employer personally committed an act of gender [or sexual orientation] violence.

This means that an employer is not liable under these code sections for gender or sexual orientation violence unless the employer is the one that commits the violence.  Employers can still be liable for sexual harassment and sexual orientation harassment, and violence against employees based on their gender or sexual orientation would certainly qualify as unlawful harassment.

Employers must continue training their supervisors and employees regarding the importance of maintaining a safe and healthful work environment.  Employees subjected to intimidation, coercion, or threats of violence should report the problems to the employer immediately.  If your physical well-being is at risk, you may also need to contact local law enforcement.  In a perfect world, employees and employers will work together to eradicate violence in the workplace.  Until we get there, these new laws may help protect people for violence.

Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

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The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, San Ramon, Concord, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.