There have been issues for a time now with sexual harassment in California, specifically in the industry of farming. A new bill has been created to address the problem, and it is close to being signed into law. The bill is known as SB 1087.
The bill would work in conjunction with the Farm Labor Contractor Act, serving as an amendment to that act. Under it, contractors and employees in the farming industry would need to go through special training aimed at preventing sexual harassment.
So far, both the Assembly and the state Senate have shown that they are behind this bill, but it still needs to be signed by the governor if it is to become law. It has been passed along to his desk, though no signature has been given at this time.
If he does sign it, the labor commissioner would get increased powers to act when sexual harassment was reported. This would especially be useful in cases where there were repeated claims of harassment from employees.
The bill came into being in large part because of a report that was carried out looking at harassment of female workers in California’s fields, and the report exposed just how vulnerable these workers could be. The report was a joint effort between three different groups: The Center for Investigative Reporting, Frontline and National Public Radio.
Those who have faced sexual harassment in the workplace while working in California’s farming industry should keep an eye on this bill to see if it is passed into law, as it could provide them with further protections so that their rights are not violated.
Source: New Times, “Bill may require sexual harassment prevention training for farmworkers and contractors” Jono Kinkade, Aug. 20, 2014