Required California State Legal Updates to Policy and Resolution Process for Sexual Misconduct

On January 1, 2022, California State Bill 493 (SB 493) went into effect, putting into law state requirements related to sex equity in education. The University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation and Resolution Process for Sexual Misconduct have been updated to fully comply with these new California law requirements, while still complying with the federal Title IX regulations. The key purpose of SB 493 is to add protections for individuals in higher education with respect to sexual harassment and to clarify the process for adjudicating complaints of sexual or gender-based violence. 

Key changes that have been incorporated in the Policy and/or Resolution Process for Sexual Misconduct include the following: 

• Enhancements to the responsible employee (which we refer to as Designated Employee) responsibilities 

• Introduction of an explicit constructive knowledge framework 

• No cross-examination of parties directly by advisors for Prohibited Conduct under SB 493 (cross-examination by advisors for Title IX Sexual Harassment remains)

• Enhanced training for trauma-informed investigatory and resolution processes

• Expanded definitions of certain forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, rape, sexual battery, and sexual exploitation 

• Steps to follow when the Reporting Party requests anonymity/confidentiality