The #MeToo movement brought attention to many discriminatory issues that employers are guilty of in the United States. While the movement primarily focused on sexual harassment and violation victims, people started to take notice of many other flaws in the system that have harmed various workers for years.
In 2018, few states could match the amount of laws California passed in their attempt to ensure a safer workplace. Those struggling to find a job or are currently dealing with a toxic work environment may have a better time in 2019 with these new regulations. With how many laws that are now in effect, the following employees should be aware of what these newer laws mean for them:
Sexual harassment victims
Unsurprisingly, several of these laws focus on giving sexual harassment victims a safer work environment. More employers now have to give sexual harassment training to their workers every two years to lessen the chances of it happening on the job. Additionally, employers are now more liable for sexual harassment lawsuits and will have a harder time defending thanks to lowering the standards for the victim’s burden of proof. While some have criticized these laws for making it easier to falsely accuse someone, others believe that past and potential future victims of sexual harassment will now have less to fear in their workplaces.
One of the most frustrating parts of a job application for some sites is filling out what your salary was for your last position. Many employers have used this information to pay workers less than what they rightfully deserve. California has recently updated their laws to ensure that workers receive similar payments for the same type of work as others. The employer cannot request salary history information to lower their paycheck, nor can they pay someone less for their gender or race. The employer now may only justify salaries based on seniority.
Workers with criminal records
In the past, workers that have prior convictions have struggled to get new careers to help themselves get back on the right track. Back in 2017, the state passed a law that heavily limits an employer’s ability to perform a background check and refuse to hire an employee with a criminal background. Senate Bill 1412 clarifies the information that employers can examine during the screening. This could help reduce the amount of people facing unemployment for minimal criminal offenses and give them a better shot in the job market.
With how many employment laws were passed in 2018, employers and employees should review all of the new regulations during the first few months of 2019. Both parties should know what new rights they have under these new bills and what treatment that employees in the workplace and potential newcomers in screenings deserve. If you believe your rights have been violated, an employment law attorney can help you determine if these newer laws can help you seek justice for the guilty party’s actions.