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Sexual Harassment in California: What You Can Do About It

Sexual harassment in the workplace can come in a variety of forms. As more platforms for communication become available, from email to instant messaging, sexual harassment is actually growing more common in the workplace. Supervisors and coworkers alike are more connected than ever, and this can sometimes lead to problems.

For people in California, the key issue is determining when a sexually explicit message or rude joke becomes sexual harassment on a legal level. It’s important for companies to know exactly how far an individual can go before they’re committing unlawful acts. Here, we’ll define illegal sexual harassment in California.

Illegal Sexual Harassment in California

In California, like in many states, sexual harassment is a violation of the law. California law restricts sexual harassment of all kinds in employment, and demands that employers train supervisors on how to deal with and prevent sexual harassment issues.

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act in California, sexual harassment in employment can take on two forms. That is quid-pro-quo harassment, where an individual in the workforce requests sexual acts or favors in return for something, and hostile work environment harassment.

Training Requirements to Prevent Sexual Harassment

The laws of California require employers to hold sexual harassment training exercises regularly. Under the fair employment and housing act, employers with 50 or more staff must provide at least two hours of training every two years to all supervisory employees. Additionally, employers need to train newly-hired individuals within six months.

As of 2015, California also requires employers to provide training on preventing abusive content. This is intended to limit bullying in the workplace that isn’t based on gender or other protected classes. If an employer doesn’t comply with these requirements, the issue can be raised in sexual harassment lawsuits to show that employers didn’t take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment.

A lack of training can easily undercut the defense made by an employer to a sexual harassment case, and increase the likelihood that supervisors will step in to nip the problem in the bud.

Filing a Claim of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a very serious issue in the workplace, and one that no-one should have to deal with. Though members of staff can feel embarrassed or nervous about coming forward about an issue of sexual harassment, particularly if that employee is afraid about repercussions, such as losing their job, it’s important to remember that you deserve justice for your case.

A vital matter to keep in mind is that the employee that comes forward about the details of a sexual harassment case doesn’t have to be the target of the misconduct. This means that friends and co-workers can come forward on the behalf of other people. A woman who witnesses a fellow co-worker being propositioned by an employer could file a claim for a hostile work environment issue.

A Law Firm That Stands Above All Others

To discover more about your rights as an employee, and learn more about the details associated with sexual harassment and employment litigation, speak to Makarem & Associates at 310.312.0299, or via email at info@makaremlaw.com.