The laws surrounding sexual harassment and sexual assaults is changing in California. In recent years, there has been a focus on holding those accountable for sexual harassment and assaults responsible. There has also been a focus on changing the culture of many businesses and industries that allowed for that type of behavior.
Recently, there were new laws implemented changing the statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault and harassment to file lawsuits against the perpetrators of the assaults. For a three-year period starting in 2023, people are allowed to initiate lawsuits for any abuse that occurred in 2009 or after. Previously, people would have been barred from initiating these lawsuits by the statute of limitations.
New window for filing a lawsuit for covering up sexual assaults
There is also another change to the laws. For a one-year period, starting in 2023 as well, people can also initiate lawsuits against companies and organizations that covered up instances of sexual abuse.
People can start a lawsuit against the entity if officers, management or agents of the business knew about the sexual assault and actively made efforts to hide evidence of it. This could be done through offering incentives to the victims to keep quiet about the assault, having the victims sign nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements or keeping the evidence from going public in some other manner.
There are many victims of sexual assault in California who never received the justice they deserve. These new laws allow for victims of past sexual assault to seek that justice now. They may be able to recover compensation for the damages caused by the assault, which may have had a lasting impact on the victim.
The window for initiating the lawsuits is a fairly short one, so victims need to act fairly quickly. Experienced attorneys understand how to handle sexual assault, even those that happened years ago and could be a useful resource.