California Puts Law Designed to Protect Child Actors from Sexual Harassment on Hold

A recent law designed to protect child actors by providing sexual harassment prevention training is being delayed. Deadline reports that, according to the California Labor Commissioner’s office, the reason for the delay is that the two vendors contracted to provide the necessary training materials weren’t getting the job done.

One vendor, according to Deadline, was charging too much – a $1,000 for online training. The other vendor didn’t have materials that were designed for the special needs of children who work in the California’s entertainment industry.

The law, AB 2338, was signed by former Governor Jerry Brown. The law was supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2019. The law required that children, their parents, and their guardians all receive training in how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The law provided that the children and their parents/guardians must receive approved training before they could obtain a permit to work in the entertainment sector. For now, the California Department of Industrial Relations is allowing children to work without the necessary training.

What is sexual harassment in the workplace?

Employers in the entertainment industry, and all industry sectors, must treat their employees with respect and dignity. To protect employees of all ages, there are federal and state laws that govern workplace decency, including freedom from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment of adults and children includes:

  • Quid pro harassment. Here, the child actor’s boss (or the boss of a worker of any age) pressures the child to engage in sexual acts in order to keep their job, get a better job, get a promotion, or get better pay.
  • The creation of a hostile work environment. Here, the workplace such as a TV or movie set, becomes so uncomfortable, due to sexual comments, pranks, jokes, and practices, that the employee feels he/she can’t do his/her job well.

Many child actors have stepped forward to say they suffered sexual harassment from bosses, publicists, and others in the entertainment industry

Filing a sexual harassment claim

While the California law designed to train child actors and others about sexual harassment is a good idea, the law doesn’t affect the rights of any child actor or adult actor to file an actionable claim for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment claims include:

  • Lost income – past and future
  • Job reinstatement
  • Lost benefits
  • Damages for emotional distress
  • Punitive damages to punish the entertainment boss, manager, or company

Victims can also seek legal fees and statutory damages

Adults in the entertainment sector owe a duty to the people they hire. That duty is simple – never use sexual conduct as a basis for hiring, promoting, or allowing someone to do their job. It is especially rotten when entertainment professionals take advantage of children. The Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys at Taylor & Ring have been fighting for the rights of survivors for more than 35 years. Our team of lawyers and counselors will help you assert your rights and hold wrongdoers accountable. Call us today at 310.776.6390 or use our contact form to schedule a time to speak with us.

 

 

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