Sex Harassment Prevention Even for Disney Characters!

Even Disneyland isn’t immune from California laws – even those laws preventing sexual harassment at the Magic Kingdom.

Disney World seems to be having trouble with patrons groping Disney characters.  An employee who plays Minnie Mouse was allegedly groped by a tourist while having their picture taken.  Turns out, the tourist is a Disney Vacation Club member and had been accused of the behavior before.  The Disney Company then banned him from theme parks.  Also, a woman playing Donald Duck was allegedly sexually assaulted by a woman at the park, but the employee refused to press charges believing the alleged assaulter suffered from dementia.

In California, employers are responsible for protecting all their employees from sexual harassment whether the alleged harasser is an employee, a customer, or anyone else doing business with the employer’s company (such as salespersons or maintenance contractors).

Often the problem with sexual harassment is understanding what it is, how to prevent it, and what to do about it if it does happen.  Every employee needs to be aware of his or her rights and duties in dealing with sexual harassment, and training is a good way of ensuring success.

California has had sexual harassment laws on the books for many years, but also mandatory sexual harassment prevention training laws since 2005.  In 2005, employers with a minimum of 50 employees had to provide those employees with a minimum of two hours of training every two years.  The training had to consist of the definition of sexual harassment and how to prevent it for all employees, and additionally, anyone in a supervisory position must be able to identify possible harassment violations. Then, in 2018, the #MeToo Movement began, and State Senator Holly Hicks proposed State Senate Bill 1343.  This bill required that all employers with five or more employees needed to have the training.  The bill’s aim was to prevent sexual harassment or abusive behavior in any size organization.  The bill passed both legislative branches and was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsome.  Employers are ow required to provide the training before January 1, 2020.

The training itself can be by certified on-line courses, certified classroom trainers teaching a certified program or even a certified live-webinar.  The employer pays for the training courses, and must provide employees with time on the clock to receive the training.

For more information, visit the California web site at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1343

For information on the requirements.

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