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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Governor Signs Bill to Provide That Sexual Harassment Need Not Be Motivated by Sexual Desire, Overturning Kelley v. Conco

On August 12, 2013, Governor Brown signed SB 292, a bill designed to overturn the decision in Kelley v. Conco Companies (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 191 (discussed here). In Kelly, a male employee complained that he was subjected to demeaning, sexually explicit comments and gestures by his male supervisor. Kelley sued for sexual harassment, and the trial court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that there was no “credible evidence that the harasser was homosexual” or that the harassment was “motivated by sexual desire.”

SB 292 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to provide: "Sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire." 
Government Code Section 12940(j)(4)(C). 

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