California bill requiring sexual harassment training targets talent industry
Employees of more than 125 talent agencies located in California will have to undergo sexual harassment prevention training if pending legislation requiring it passes in the California Assembly. Moreover, child actors and their parents or legal guardians will have to undergo similar instruction before the state’s Labor Commission will issue a work permit allowing the minor to work in the entertainment industry.
“This groundbreaking legislation will go a long way to increase awareness of what constitutes sexual harassment in California,” says attorney Betsy Havens, Executive Director of Strong Advocates, a Los Angeles-based law firm. “Hopefully, requiring not only talent agency employees but also minors and their parents to receive sexual harassment training will increase awareness about what is acceptable behavior and, for the actors, how to address it if it occurs. I’m proud our state legislature is taking it so seriously.”
Assemblyman Marc Levine, the bill’s sponsor, has been quoted as saying, “This legislation is needed as much as ever, as you are aware of the recent scandals emerging from the entertainment industry, to empower potential victims with information to help them identify and seek resources for sexual harassment. The legislature needs to ensure that these professionals are protected and kept safe in their work environment.”
Beyond requiring sexual harassment prevention training in the entertainment industry, the pending legislation also ensures talent agencies provide their adult modeling clients with training and information about nutrition and eating disorders.