California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Bills To Protect Child Actors From Sexual Harassment & Abuse

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed three bills into law to protect child actors from sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. Child-protection advocates hailed the new laws as solid steps forward.

Assembly Bill 3175 requires that the parent or legal guardian of a child actor ensure that sexual harassment training, as made available online by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, be completed by the minor, accompanied by their parent or legal guardian, and that the parent or legal guardian certify to the Labor Commissioner that the training has been completed.

Read AB 3175 in full here.

Assembly Bill 1963 modifies the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act by adding a human resource employee of a business with five or more employers that employ minors to the long list of individuals who are required to report incidents of child abuse or neglect that they have observed or reasonably suspect. The new law also requires those employers to provide their employees who are mandated reporters with training on identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

Read AB 1963 in full here.

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Assembly Bill 3369 exempts an employer from the California Fair Employment and Housing Act’s sexual harassment training requirements for an employee who has, within the last two years, received the required training from an employer or who was issued a valid work permit by the Labor Commissioner that required the employee to receive that training within the last two years.

Read AB 3369 in full here.

“We believe in the prevention of child abuse and sexual harassment,” said Anne Henry, co-founder of Bizparentz Foundation, which advocates on behalf of child actors. “We believe these three bills move toward that goal.”

Previous bills, she said, “Attempted to provide sexual harassment training to professional child actors, but the bills were unable to be implemented. AB3175 and AB3369 improve that situation in a few of ways: they align the timing of training to the timing that exists for all workers: every two years; they make the training itself more appropriate for teens, and they require parents to take the training with their teen so that parents can answer questions and add context that is consistent with their own family values.” Henry noted that her organization did not officially sponsor any of the bills, but was “part of the process” and “worked with legislators” for their passage.

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