CA Senate Bill 493: Overview of the Nation’s Most Comprehensive Protections for Student Survivors of Sexual Harassment & Violence


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Last year, in response to attacks on students’ civil rights at the federal level, Governor Newsom signed SB 493 (Jackson) into law. This law will ensure that California institutions of higher education have adequate processes in place to respond to allegations of sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. This is necessary to ensure that all students receive equal access to education, as required by existing law. Among its provisions, SB 493 contains notice and posting requirements so that students know how to report sexual harassment and violence; transparent procedures for investigating complaints to ensure a fair and equitable process for all parties; as well as required trauma-informed and other training for school officials involved in the process. SB 493 takes effect January 1, 2022.

Please join Equal Rights Advocates and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence for an overview of the new protections required under SB 493 and a discussion on how to ensure effective implementation of the nation’s most comprehensive student civil rights law.


Brenda Star Adams
Brenda leads ERA’s impact litigation and education equity work, and oversees ERA’s direct services programs, which provide advice, information, and limited scope representation to students and employees across the country facing gender discrimination. Brenda provides training, support, and technical assistance on ERA’s policy work and to ERA’s Pro Bono network of attorneys. Prior to joining ERA, Brenda spent over 7 years representing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law and immigration cases, and 4 years representing low-income tenants and families facing eviction in the East Bay.

Jessica Stender
Jessica serves as Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy at Equal Rights Advocates. She leads policy advocacy, with a focus on sexual harassment, pay equity, pregnancy discrimination, and education civil rights, and represents workers in employment discrimination cases. Jessica is the Co-Chair of the Stronger California Advocates Network, a statewide coalition promoting policy reform to improve the economic security of women and families in California. She is also is Co-Chair of the Women’s Rights Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues, and a member of the Policy Committee of the national Equal Pay Today! campaign. Jessica regularly speaks and writes about issues related to gender equity and legislative advocacy.

Jessica can be reached at [email protected] or 415.575.2394.

Questions? Please contact Christine Smith, [email protected]

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