While at a workplace, there is no doubt that people will tell jokes and otherwise do things to keep the work environment light-hearted. Most of the time, these jokes are harmless.
Sexual harassment has been a heavily reported topic in the news media these days, and that is not without good reason. A lot of women have had the courage of late to come forward and explain how men, who were usually in a position of power, took advantage of them in a work or other environment.
When a Los Angeles employee gets sexually harassed, he or she may not want to talk about it at all, even before a judge or with his or her attorney. Sexual harassment is in almost all cases a very embarrassing thing to happen to someone, and it may mean rehashing some emotionally traumatic events that are also almost by definition lewd and degrading.
With each week, more and more women and men who have experienced sexual harassment or assault have bravely come forward to share their stories. The extreme prevalence of these sort of encounters reveals a problematic issue within our workforce (and beyond). If it was in doubt before, there is not one now: Sexual harassment happens far too often in almost every workplace in this country.
Most workers in California probably have a vague idea of what constitutes sexual harassment. Fortunately, most workers have probably not encountered such workplace harassment, but for those who have, the victimization can be damaging and long-lasting. Still, California has key laws in place meant to protect employees from certain types of disruptive and often highly demeaning behavior.
Victims who believe they may be suffering sexual harassment in the workplace may wonder what constitutes sexual harassment. There are two primary categories of sexual harassment recognized in the workplace and victims have legal recourse options if they have been subjected to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination under federal law and, in addition, states typically have their own sexual harassment laws which are important to be familiar with.
In California, employers are subject to the harassment regulations in the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Under these provisions, employees are protected from harassing conduct based on sex, gender or pregnancy, regardless of whether the conduct was based on sexual desire.
Sexual harassment in the workplace occurs when an employee is subjected to unwanted advances of a sexual nature, unwanted comments or physical conduct or is requested to perform sexual favors by a supervisor or co-worker. Such conduct constitutes harassment when it affects the victim's employment, creates a hostile or offensive work environment or interferes with their performance.
Sometimes sexual harassment in the workplace may be easy to spot. The actual touching of another person in an unwanted way can constitute sexual harassment; receiving inappropriate attention of a sexual nature from one's boss or co-workers can also be considered workplace sexual harassment. However, not all forms of sexual harassment are easily apparent. Men and women who work in California often feel the negative impact of subversive or covert sexual harassment even when it is not clearly identifiable or directed at them.
California employees are protected by both federal and state law from unwelcome conduct that is of a sexual nature and creates a hostile or offensive work environment. Offending conduct can be direct or subtle, and may be present through verbal, visual or physical actions.