New CA Laws Protecting Child Actors From Sexual Harassment

Hollywood has long been a setting for child sexual harassment. Hundreds of child actors have come forward with stories about sexual harassment and abuse on Hollywood sets over the years, often perpetrated by directors, producers, and others in positions of power in the industry. Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom has made protecting child sexual abuse survivors a key part of his platform. In 2019, he signed a bill that extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims in California. Now, Governor Newsom has signed three additional bills into law that specifically protect child actors from sexual harassment.

Assembly Bill 3175

The first bill signed, Assembly Bill 3175, requires online sexual harassment training through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The child actor, along with his or her parent or guardian, must complete the training and provide a completion certificate to the Labor Commissioner before beginning work on set. The goal of AB 3175 is to spread awareness about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, educate children and parents on how to prevent sexual harassment, explain legal issues such as retaliation in the workplace, and provide resources for safely reporting sexual harassment on a working set.

Assembly Bill 1963

The second child sexual harassment bill, Assembly Bill 1963, modifies California’s existing Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Section 1700.52 of the Labor Code). It adds a mandatory requirement for human resource employees at any business with five or more employers that hire minors. Under AB 1963, these employees are now part of the long list of people who must report incidents of child abuse or neglect in California.

If a human resource employee in the entertainment industry observes or suspects child sexual abuse, that employee is legally required to report it. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $1,000 and/or time in county jail. Employers with human resource employees who have to report child abuse must also receive training in identifying and reporting child sexual abuse.

Assembly Bill 3369

The third bill Governor Newsom signed into law is Assembly Bill No. 3369. This bill also amends an existing law: Section 12950.1 of the Government Code. The existing law stated that by January 1, 2021, all employers with at least five employees must provide two or more hours of interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to supervisors and at least one hour of training to other employees.

AB 3369 amends the training requirement by creating an exemption for employees who have already received the required child sexual harassment training under AB 3175 in the past two years. If the worker’s employer has a valid work permit from the Labor Commissioner that required the worker to receive the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s sexual harassment training, that worker will not have to go through additional training.

Mathew & George: Helping Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Governor Newsom and others involved in the creation and passing of these three bills believe they will help prevent child abuse and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, which has a long history of mistreating child actors. These three bills may help prevent sexual harassment on sets as well as give children and their parents the tools they need to report sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace.

If you experience sexual harassment as a child actor in California, or your child is a victim of this crime, contact Mathew & George for a confidential legal consultation. Our workplace sexual harassment attorneys can help you protect your rights. We keep up with all the latest sexual harassment bills passed in the State of California and know how to pursue justice and compensation on behalf of survivors in the entertainment industry. Call (310) 478-4349 today for a free case review in Los Angeles.