Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs janitor protection bill amid fast

Janitors protest at the Capitol, arrested

On May 31, 2016, nine women were arrested at a rally supporting AB 1978 to prevent the sexual assault of janitors in the workplace.
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On May 31, 2016, nine women were arrested at a rally supporting AB 1978 to prevent the sexual assault of janitors in the workplace.

With janitors fasting outside the Capitol in support of a bill to increase workplace protections against sexual assault and harassment, Gov. Jerry Brown late Thursday signed the measure.

The labor-backed legislation, Assembly Bill 1978, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, will require janitorial employers to participate in sexual harassment and assault training and prevention programs, among other measures.

Brown signed the bill without comment. His executive secretary, Nancy McFadden, said on Twitter that she “told the brave women fasting outside” the Capitol that Brown had signed the bill. The announcement came a day before janitors outside the Capitol planned to break their fast.

The bill’s approval came after researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, reported that between one-third and one-half of women are sexually harassed during their career, with proponents saying female janitors are especially vulnerable because they often work alone late at night.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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