California lawmakers recently signed the Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, which widens the window of opportunity in which victims can seek justice for rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other harms resulting from the sexual assault. Plaintiffs may also seek justice for sexual harassment or wrongful termination that occurred on or after January 1, 2009.
While the new employment law made big waves among legal experts and employers, many workers are unaware of the protections it provides. Here is what you need to know about AB 2777.
5 Things You Need to Know about AB 2777
1. AB 2777 recently became law
Officially known as Assembly Bill 2777 (AB 2777), the Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act went into effect on January 1, 2023.
2. Sexual harassment in the workplace is more common than you might think
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) files more than 7,000 sexual allegations annually.
3. AB 2777 expands the statute of limitations for sexual assaults
Before lawmakers signed the bill into law, victims could only file claims for sexual abuse within 10 years of the last attack, attempted act, or assault with intent of committing a sexual assault, or within 3 years of discovering an illness or injury resulting from a sexual assault.
4. Even though the sexual assault happened years ago, you may still be able to take action today
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you probably agree that the previous statute of limitations for sexual assault is not nearly long enough. Some victims are afraid of losing their jobs or fear that they won’t be believed, are scared of retribution, or think they will be ostracized or judged. In some cases, the perpetrator is someone the victim trusted, so it may take years for the victim to realize a crime has been committed against them.
The law provides victims with a window of opportunity to revive their claims: under AB 2777, victims have a 3-year window to file a claim to recover any damages resulting from a sex crime committed against them on or after January 1, 2009.
5. AB 2777 protects victims from cover-ups
The new act also helps protect victims from cover-ups. AB 2777 opens a 1-year revival window in which victims can file sexual assault claims and claims for damages from sexual assault that involved cover-ups. The new law defines a cover-up as a concerted effort to hide or conceal a sexual assault by pressuring individuals to remain silent or otherwise prevent information from becoming public. AB 2777 also prohibits the use of non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements to hide a sexual assault.
Reach Out To D.Law If You Have Questions About AB2777
If you have been the victim of sexual assault in the workplace or have suffered injury or illness from a sexual assault in California after January 1, 2009, you may have an opportunity to seek justice and closure. For more information, call D.Law at (818) 275-5799. D.Law champions your rights with no up-front cost to you.