How to deal with workplace sexual harassment

| Mar 28, 2016 | Sexual Harassment |

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not always reported by victims. However, such behavior is strictly prohibited by both federal and California law, and it may be possible to pursue legal action against an employer. Generally, a worker is advised to follow company procedures before pursuing legal action, but there are circumstances in which this may not be possible, such as where a worker is being harassed by a supervisor.

Victims may pursue legal action if they have reported harassment in the past and nothing changed. In California, it may be best to go to the the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing as opposed to the EEOC, as the coverage may be broader. It is important to note that sexual harassment takes a variety of forms. It could involve requests for sex or other sexual favors in exchange for favors at work or even rape. Harassment may also involve making crude jokes or making obscene gestures of a sexual nature.

In general, employers are responsible for the conduct of most people who interact with representatives of the company. This means that the employer is obligated to ensure that a third party doesn’t take action that would constitute sexual harassment. Employers must also take steps to make sure that managers and co-workers are not harassing a fellow employee.

Workplace sexual harassment can make it very difficult for its victims to perform their jobs. People who have been the target of this type of behavior are advised to keep a record of such activities for use if a claim is later filed. Employment law attorneys will also note that the termination of, or other retaliation against, a victim who has reported such harassment is also prohibited.


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