The victims of sexual harassment at work suffer more than anyone realizes -- unless they too have been hurt by such unconscionable behavior. The severity of damage caused by sexual harassment certainly begs the question: Why don't sexual harassers usually go to jail? And, is sexual harassment ever a criminal act?
Under the current laws, employees and employers have been able to negotiate settlement agreements over sexual harassment claims. These settlement agreements have traditionally contained nondisclosure provisions that prevented either of the parties from talking about the sexual harassment allegations and the amount of money for which the cases settled. However, on Jan. 1, 2019, Senate Bill No. 820 will change this in the state of California.
Whether we'd like to admit it or not, workplace sexual harassment continues to be a widespread problem throughout California. In fact, thousands of people deal with humiliating situations at their jobs on a daily basis but they never say anything because they're afraid of negative career consequences.
The California legislature has responded to the growing political momentum behind the #MeToo movement by passing two new sexual harassment laws, and more sexual harassment legislation is pending consideration.
California employers must be careful to hire from both sexes equally. Men and women must receive equal opportunity at the workplace, hiring should not be based on sexual bias and employers cannot make promotion, pay rate or termination decisions based on the sex of an individual. That said, it seems that numerous California workplaces have in unequal number of males in positions of authority -- and men often make more money compared to women performing similar job functions.
The University of California Irvine has bid goodbye to renowned geneticist and faculty member Francisco J. Ayala, who donated $10 million dollars to the School of Biological Sciences. The faculty member is a winner of the coveted Templeton Prize -- also won by the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa. He is famous for his work in genetics which has benefited hundreds of millions of people around the world through the prevention and treatment of serious disease conditions.
Tapioca Express is a franchise that sells milk-based teas. It's based in South El Monte, California. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently accused two Tapioca Express locations of creating a work environment fraught with sexual harassment of its female workers. In fact, some employees quit their jobs because of the abusive conditions they faced at work.
Gov. Jerry Brown has released his budget proposal that offers financing to help fight sexual harassment. The proposal would pay for a special program to stop those accused of sexual harassment from changing jobs inside the government. The financing amounts to $1.5 million, which would be used by the California Human Resources Department to monitor discrimination and sexual harassment complaints.
Sexual harassment continues to pervade society in spite of strict federal and state laws that prevent this abuse. The powerful protections offered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 give women and men the right to healthy work conditions where sexual harassment doesn't exist. But is everyone exercising their rights in this regard? Unfortunately, no.
Sexual harassment is usually associated with power-hungry men who are in a position of power. There are very few cases that center around a woman being the aggressor in the case. This happens for a few reason, but it is imperative to remember that women can be the party who is harassing someone else.