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California State Assembly. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

California Legislature’s Harassment Retaliation Prevention Act

#MeToo was added in 2018

By Chris Micheli, June 17, 2022 3:30 pm

In the California Government Code, Title 2, Division 2, Part 1, Chapter 1.5, Article 12 is the “Legislative Discriminatory Harassment Retaliation Prevention Act,” which is contained in Sections 9149.38 to 9149.41. Article 12 was added in 2018 by Chapter 952. Section 9149.38 provides the article’s formal title.

Section 9149.39 defines the following terms: “discriminatory harassment,” “legislative advocate,” and “legislative employee.” Section 9149.40 prohibits a house of the Legislature from discharging, expelling, or otherwise discriminating against a legislative advocate or a legislative employee because that person has:

  • Opposed any practices forbidden under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Division 3);
  • Opposed any practice actionable under Section 51 or 51.9 of the Civil Code; or
  • Filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding relating to a complaint of discriminatory harassment made pursuant to those laws.

A vote of the house or the deliberation of legislative matters within its jurisdiction are not considered an act to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a legislative advocate or a legislative employee for purposes of this subdivision.

A violation of this section is subject to a fine not to exceed $10,000. This law does not limit the application of any other rights or remedies under federal or state law, or the authority conferred upon the Attorney General, any state or federal law enforcement agency, or any other commission, department, or agency authorized to investigate the Legislature.

Section 9149.41 requires each house of the Legislature to implement a system to maintain a record of each discriminatory harassment complaint made to that house for a period of at least 12 years after the complaint is made.

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