When a worker experiences inappropriate or illegal treatment in the workplace, he or she has the right to report this to the employer. At this point, it would be reasonable to assume that the employer is doing something about it, including appropriate disciplinary action against the offending party. One California employer is facing accusations of mishandling sexual harassment claims, failing to recognize the serious nature of these allegations and minimizing employee concerns.
One girl recently spoke out about her experience while working for a Vons supermarket when she was 16 years old. She worked as a clerk for the store, and within the first few weeks of her time of employment, she began experiencing inappropriate treatment from her supervisor. He asked her inappropriately personal questions and eventually began asking her to smoke marijuana with him on breaks. She says he began coming to her home and acting aggressively toward her.
At one point, the girl says the man got her to his hotel room, where she believes he drugged her in order to rape her. Her family soon learned about the incident, and there was an altercation at the store between her family and the supervisor. The company eventually terminated him, but he later filed a grievance to get his job back. During this process, testimony and evidence showed that the grocery store was lax in harassment training and had a practice of simply transferring accused employees.
The girl believes that proper training and better harassment policies could have helped her speak out before she was physically attacked. Sexual harassment in the workplace should be addressed immediately, and employees should feel empowered to bring their concerns to their superiors. Knowing how to handle inappropriate treatment can help a person feel safe in his or her California workplace.