Existing law, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, provides that all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to full and equal accommodations in all business establishments regardless of specified characteristics, including sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status. Existing law, the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976, provides that all persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of political affiliation, or on account of position in a labor dispute, or any of the specified characteristics listed above, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of those characteristics. Existing law provides civil remedies for violations of those provisions.
Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) , establishes the Department of Fair Employment and Housing within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency and sets forth its powers and duties relating to enforcement of civil rights laws with respect to housing and employment and to protect and safeguard the right of all persons to obtain and hold employment without discrimination based on specified characteristics or status. Existing law prohibits an employer and other specified entities from harassing an employee, an applicant, an unpaid intern or volunteer, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract, because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status, if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of that conduct and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.
This bill would require a business to address the harassment, which would include words, gestures, or actions directed at a specific person that the person finds unwelcome and offensive and that are on account of any characteristics listed in the Unruh Civil Rights Act, of customers on its premises, including harassment by a third party, by, among other things, posting a sign provided by the department that informs customers of their rights at a business and how to report incidents of harassment.
This bill would require the department to submit, as specified, to the Legislature and Governor, and publish on its internet website, a report summarizing aggregate data on harassment at businesses in the state, as prescribed, including data related to harassment at businesses reported to the department by a member of the public, and data related to harassment at businesses collected by businesses, as specified.
This bill would require the department to develop or procure an online training course regarding discrimination and harassment, as defined, and make that course available on the department's internet website. The bill would require the training to include information on laws related to discrimination and harassment and how to identify discrimination and harassment. The bill would require the department to provide employees with a certificate of completion of the training, which the bill would require to be portable across employers. The bill would require businesses to provide that training no later than January 1, 2025, to all their employees in the state who interact with members of the public, as specified. The bill would authorize the department to initiate the adoption of rules, regulations, or standards implementing these provisions no later than January 1, 2024, or seek an order requiring a business to comply with the training's requirements.
This bill would require the department to establish a pilot program on or before January 1, 2025, to recognize businesses that create environments free from discrimination and harassment and would require the department to develop criteria to evaluate whether that recognition is effective on or before January 1, 2028, as specified. The bill would repeal the pilot program on July 1, 2028.
This bill would provide that the department's council has the power to adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind suitable rules, regulations, and standards to interpret, implement, and apply the above provisions. The bill would also grant the department the power to receive, investigate, conciliate, mediate, and prosecute complaints alleging a violation of the above provisions and would prohibit a complaint alleging a violation of those provisions from being filed after the expiration of one year from the date that the alleged unlawful practice or refusal to cooperate occurred.

Statutes affected:
AB2448: 3546 CIV
02/17/22 - Introduced: 3546 CIV
03/17/22 - Amended Assembly: 12935 GOV, 3546 CIV
03/30/22 - Amended Assembly: 12935 GOV
04/18/22 - Amended Assembly: 12935 GOV
05/19/22 - Amended Assembly: 12935 GOV
06/30/22 - Amended Senate: 12930 GOV, 12935 GOV, 12960 GOV
AB 2448: 3546 CIV