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California increases the time for filing a discrimination lawsuit

| Mar 23, 2020 | Employment Law |

The Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension Act increased the time limit for filing a discrimination claim to three years. California legislators passed the supplementary bill to update employment laws prohibiting workplace discrimination and harassment.

Before the SHARE act went into effect on January 1, 2020, employees only had one year to file a lawsuit against their employer. California employees now have up to three years to begin a discrimination claim.

Two additional years will allow an individual more time to gather evidence to help prove his or her allegations against an employer. A time frame of three years may also help in finding a new job; an employee can then wait to file a claim until after obtaining work from a new employer.

The SHARE Act also requires employers to provide harassment training

Raising awareness of harassment and discrimination may help prevent labor law violations. The Kern Valley Sun reports that California companies with five or more workers must now implement a training program on harassment. Each employee must receive at least one hour of training related to inappropriate workplace harassment. This may include how derogatory comments, offensive jokes and unwanted touching can create a hostile workplace environment.

Employers must take action

When an employee brings harassment to the attention of a supervisor, a common defensive response is that an individual “did not know” he or she acted inappropriately. Serial harassers may claim that the comments or actions were the result of their upbringing and assert they intended no harm. Regardless of backgrounds or cultures, an employer must take action to stop any harassment. The law requires an employer to take steps to prevent the development or continuance of a hostile environment.

Discrimination is against the law

State and federal employment laws prohibit companies from creating or permitting a hostile environment that allows harassment based on age, race, religion or disability. Gender issues such as marital status or pregnancy also fall under the category of discrimination. An employer found in violation of labor laws may face a legal action that includes monetary damages.