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California Assembly Committee Passes Farm Worker Sexual Harassment Bill

FLICKR / Ah Zut
 

FLICKR / Ah Zut

Farm labor rights advocates say sexual harassment and sexual assaults have become almost commonplace in California’s agricultural fields. They say the bill will help set an industry-wide zero tolerance policy.

“A lot of the harassers are serial harassers,” says Michael Marsh with California Rural Legal Assistance. “They go from one place of employment to the next place of employment and no one ever checks on their credentials or checks on their background.”

Under the bill, farm labor contractors, supervisors and foremen would be required to take sexual harassment awareness training.

Farm groups dropped their opposition to the measure when it was amended to reduce the number of hours dedicated each year to sexual harassment training.