In an indication of potentially wide-spread discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed three new lawsuits against employers last week. All of the suits share two things in common: they allege horrific acts of sexual harassment and they target farming industry employers.
Employers have the responsibility to stay alert to employment law changes and modify any policies that do not comply with federal and state laws. The fashion industry, however, continues to show signs that they're far behind in protecting models. As independent contractors for fashion designers, it's sometimes unclear for the employer how to treat the models under the law, but it's becoming increasingly clear that further regulation may be needed to prevent grievous harm.
A sexual harassment legal claim requires that the treatment be "severe and pervasive." For employment attorneys, the work to show that the sexual harassment was severe is often to demonstrate the harassment's interference with the employee's work. It's much more likely that a sexual harassment claim will result in a finding for the victim when his or her work performance is affected.
A bill sponsored by the Transgender Law Center and Equality California was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill, Vital Statistics Modernization Act, makes changing ones birth certificate more simple for transgender Californians. Another bill, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, was also signed by the governor and it adds to existing protection from discrimination for California residents who identify as transgender.