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College Sexual Harassment and California’s Assembly Bill 1905

Cases of sexual abuse within the California State University (CSU) system continue to arise. However, a new bill proposed in 2024 could help keep CSU employees involved in misconduct from keeping their jobs or finding a new position.

AB 1905 is part of a series of bill filings that take sexual assault on college campuses head-on. This particular bill would better prevent administrators who face substantiated sexual harassment claims from hurting college students or other faculty again.

California Sex Assault Bill and “Retreat Rights”

Empty College Classroom“Retreat rights” are an option for faculty members who stop teaching.  Retreat rights allow them to transition into a senior administrative role if they retire or resign from a current post. It’s a way for faculty members to retain employment and secure financial support.

EdSource reports that in the past, California State University Schools have used this right to protect administrators who were under investigation for misconduct. It’s a way to avoid firing tenured employees.

AB 1905 would stiffen the restrictions on the use of retreat rights, especially for those accused of or found guilty of sexual harassment.

Those under investigation would not be able to take advantage of retreat rights in the following situations:

California AB1905 Section 1 (B)(1)  

(A) The employee is determined in a final administrative decision to have committed sexual harassment.

(B) Before a final administrative decision is made, the employee resigns from their current position.

(C) The employee enters into a settlement with the public postsecondary educational institution.

California Sex Assault Bill and CSU Letters of Recommendation

The bill makes it harder for the school system to retain someone who is the respondent in a sexual harassment case. It could also make it more difficult for the faculty member in question to find a job elsewhere.

AB1905 would prevent any CSU employee from providing a letter of recommendation for any administrator who faces allegations or is subject to any of the three factors detailed above.

Each university in the school system would also have to compose a policy on these issues or face a denial of state funding. That policy must include a system for the University’s approval of any settlement made in a sexual assault case involving a school employee.

These rules would apply to California public postsecondary school institutions including all campuses in the California Community Colleges system, the California State University system, the University of California system, or the College of the Law, San Francisco.

Finding Help for The Victims of Sexual Harassment and Assault on California Campuses

AB 1905 is under review by California legislators. Cases of sexual harassment on campuses are often covered up and the faculty members found to be involved are often protected. This bill and others would help hold California universities and those guilty of sexual misconduct more accountable.

No law can change what a victim has been put through. But the victims of sexual assault committed by a faculty member or a member of a fraternity or sorority are empowered to seek help and financial support.

Maison Law aggressively protects victims and loved ones at such a vulnerable time. We hold major universities accountable while giving victims and their families the time to recover and rebuild their lives.

Contact us today for a free and confidential case consultation. Our California Campus Sexual Assault Attorneys will answer your questions and help you decide on the best way to hold those responsible fully liable for your pain.

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