FOX Business published an informative article on sexual harassment in the workplace. It is as important for employers to understand their rights and obligations when it comes to preventing sexual harassment, as it is for employees to know their options when victimized.
Our Riverside employment attorneys understand employees may be reluctant to come forward, particularly in today’s tough job market. And in many cases what starts out as relatively innocent banter or flirtation, may evolve into something uncomfortable. Often an employee may feel he or she is powerless to complain after initially permitting such behavior. And it is not always she — men are more frequently becoming victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Thus, it is always the employers responsibility to set clear boundaries and see that they are enforced.
Too often, sexual harassment also involves sexual discrimination or denial of an employee’s opportunities to advance based on their rejection of sexual advances.
Sexual Harassment: Under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 whenever an employee is unfairly treated because of gender. Federal law generally applies to businesses with 15 or more employees.
Quid pro quo harassment: Occurs when promotions or job advancements are linked to whether or not an employee submits to sexual advances.
Hostile work environment: This is often the busiest, and grayest, area of law these days and involves an employee who feels uncomfortable about the sexual banter or sexually charged comments in the workplace.
Employees have an obligation to proactively address complaints. An office environment where sexual harassment is not properly addressed will typically lead to low morale and increased turnover. And the legal consequences can be severe: the average jury award in a sexual harassment lawsuit is more than $200,000.
One rogue manager can put a business at risk. Employers need a clear, written sexual harassment policy and must enforce it uniformly. Such guidelines should include a person or persons within the company who are designated to receive complaints. The chain of command that will handle the complaint and the procedures for doing so.
If you need to speak to an employment attorney in Orange County about an issue of discrimination, sexual harassment, wage dispute, or a violation of worker’s rights, contact the Employment Law Team for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (877) 529-4545. Serving Santa Ana, Ontario, Riverside and the entire Los Angeles area.