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Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

Most California employers are aware that sexual harassment can be extremely detrimental to both employees and the business itself. Sexual harassment can occur at all levels. In some cases, employees may sexually harass other employees, and in others managers may sexually harass employees. However, according to a recent article, there are a number of things that employers can do to protect employees from sexual harassment.

All managers and employees should be trained to identify behavior or conduct that is acceptable and not acceptable in the workplace. If employees experience or witness sexual harassment while working, they should be trained to report the incident to their Human Resource department, even if the employee does not want the incident reported.

Once an incident has been officially recognized and taken to the proper authorities, managers and supervisors should be trained to respond appropriately. While there is a wide range of acceptable responses, some sort of action should be taken as ignoring the incident can be seen as condoning the behavior in question. If possible, managers and supervisors should remedy the harassment; in some cases, this may mean moving the employee responsible for the unacceptable behavior to another department. Finally, managers and supervisors should refrain from retaliating against the employee for reporting the incident.

While most employers do their best to ensure that the workplace is safe for their employees, there are cases where an employee is either forced to leave their workplace or is fired after reporting sexual harassment. If the employee can demonstrate that they were sexually harassed at work and faced retaliation, they may file a lawsuit against the employer. Through this lawsuit, the former employee may potentially seek lost wages and other damages associated with the incident.

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