Sacramento, California – Today, SB 419, the Harassment Retaliation Prevention Act, passed the State Senate with unanimous bi-partisan support. SB 419 is jointly authored by Senators Anthony J. Portantino, D – La Cañada Flintridge and Connie M. Leyva, D – Chino. It has numerous co-authors from both parties. The Act, proposes to extend protections against all forms of harassment for legislative staff, legislative advocates and others who have business within the California State Capital. Senator Portantino has a long record of fighting for accountability, whistleblower protection, and transparency in the legislature. Senator Leyva is the Vice Chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus and a leading voice for civil and worker’s rights.
“Today, I am proud to join with my colleagues in the Senate as we build on the courageous efforts of women in Sacramento who have come forward demanding action. SB 419 is an important and urgent measure that creates protections from all forms of harassment in the capitol. As a dad and a legislator, it’s my responsibility to do my part to ensure a safe work atmosphere. Under the bill, harassment will no longer be tolerated and both houses of the legislature are mandated to maintain all complaint records for twelve years,” said Senator Portantino.
The Harassment Retaliation Prevention Act, protects victims from all forms of harassment in and around the Legislature. It also serves to protect against retaliation once cases are reported. The bill enhances the anti-retaliation provisions of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which protects legislative employees and lobbyists who report sexual or related harassment. It is a companion and complimentary Bill with AB 403 of which Portantino and Leyva are co-Authors.
“As the joint author of this legislation, SB 419 is a necessary and important step to address some of the ongoing concerns related to sexual harassment within the Capitol community. This legislation makes it clear that retaliation will not be tolerated and helps to ensure greater accountability. Ultimately, SB 419 protects the women and men that work in our legislative community. Coming forward is an incredibly difﬁcult moment for any victim and SB 419 sends a clear message that retaliation will not be tolerated.” commented Senator Connie M. Leyva