New Harassment Law Sets up Peer-to-Peer Training for Professional Cleaners
Law gives vulnerable workers a trusted confidant
Custodians rely on each other for training and support. A new California law, that was among several worker protection bills signed last month by Gov. Gavin Newson, will set up training among peers to help stop the chain of sexual harassment plaguing women in the training industry, The Press-Enterprise reports.
Under the new law, AB 547, which goes into effect January 1, 2021, current and former custodians will be certified as trainers to help guide workers who work alone and at night and are at risk of experiencing sexual harassment on the job. These trainers will receive intensive schooling in labor law and evidence-based harassment prevention. Currently, most sexual harassment training in California is provided by attorneys, in-house human resources officials, or outside consultants.
The author of the legislation, Assembly woman Lorena Gonzalez, said many of the cleaners at risk of harassment are immigrants who aren’t fluent in English and are fearful to bring attention to themselves due to immigration status. She believes these workers will be more comfortable undergoing training with their peers and that they will be more likely to speak up about their abuse if they can go to a person they feel comfortable around and who has likely had the same experiences.
Building services contractors (BSCs) of all sizes will be required to provide their staff with at least two hours of training every other year.