No employee should have to put up with sexual harassment in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly lays out the law against discrimination, including sexual harassment. There are also California laws in place and many employers have anti-sexual harassment policies.
Popular culture tends to romanticize the prospect of finding love in the workplace. From Jim and Pam of television’s “The Office” to the characters played by Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt in the film “What Women Want,” popular culture seems to be filled with arguably endearing office romance scenarios. Unfortunately, romance in the workplace is rarely so straightforward and is rarely so inviting in real life.
Earlier this month, we discussed some issues that employers should consider when responding to sexual harassment claims filed by their workers. When employers respond to sexual harassment claims appropriately and with respect, employees may ultimately feel more confident in the safe nature of their work environments. However, not all employers respond to sexual harassment claims appropriately. Therefore, it is important that workers consider taking a few precautionary steps after they have been sexually harassed.
When an employee files a sexual harassment complaint or claim, it is important to respond calmly and professionally to this turn of events. The law protects workers from sexual harassment in the workplace and you will almost certainly be held accountable for taking certain actions out of panic.
Employers are required to follow sexual harassment laws. Part of enforcing this law is ensuring that there are policies and procedures in place to address and abate this problem as it arises. In addition, employers need to help foster an environment in which sexual harassment simply isn't tolerated.
Over the past several years, a debate has raged in the media and among the general public concerning the issue of sexual discrimination in the modern American workplace. Most recently, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg encouraged women to “Lean In” within the workforce in order to become more capable and successful leaders.
Sexual harassment can take on many forms and encompasses much more than obviously suggestive comments or gestures. Any inappropriate behavior that makes an individual feel uncomfortable may be seen as sexual harassment, despite how subtle it may be. California residents may be interested in a 2005 sexual harassment finding of the California Supreme Court.
It happens in Newport Beach workplaces and in offices across the nation. As so many women know, sexual harassment can begin with what can seem like an innocent pat on the arm, an offhand remark or a moment of being brushed against in an elevator. "Joking" or "flirtatious" comments and "accidental" physical encounters can quickly escalate to unacceptable levels of frequency and familiarity.