Under current California law, mid-sized and larger employers with a presence in this state have to provide two hours of training to help supervisors avoid, spot and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The current law requires all people in supervisory or management positions to take this training.
In the wake of the ongoing #MeToo movement in California and across the nation, the number of sexual harassment claims submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during fiscal year 2018 increased sharply over the fiscal year 2017. In 2017, 6,696 claims were filed, while the number was 7,609, or about 1,000 more, in 2018.
A healthcare provided in California, Family HealthCare Network, settled a federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuit with United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The settlement involved the company's having to pay $1.75 million in fines, as well as re-evaluating their procedures and ensuring additional training of managers.
A man who was until recently working as a top aide to Senator Kamala Harris, the junior Senator from California, recently resigned after it came to light that the state had to pay a settlement of $400,000 on his behalf.
It may come as little surprise to women in Fresno, California, that sexual harassment is an ongoing problem in the American workplace. Almost half of all women have reported experiencing sexual harassment while at work. What is interesting is that, according to a relatively recent survey, many men were in confidence willing to admit to engaging in some sort of behavior at work that, legally, might be considered sexual harassment.
Although technology companies that are so popular in California have a reputation for having pro-employee and progressive workplaces, they may not be living up to that reputation when it comes to gender discrimination and sexual harassment. It has long been thought, for instance, that women are grossly underrepresented in the big technology and software engineering firms located in Silicon Valley and in other quarters of this state. It also seems that, perhaps because of this underrepresentation, a lot of women who work in the tech industry also experience sexual harassment.
To put matters bluntly, the fact that a statement, email or gesture was just a bad joke or one that was misunderstood is simply no excuse for sexual harassment.
Although the concept can apply to any type of discrimination, the phrase hostile work environment is often used in reference to claims of sexual harassment. To review, there are two basic types of illegal sexual harassment. One is called quid pro quo, in which an employee is expected to do something of a sexual or romantic nature to get a professional advantage, like a raise or a promotion.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, California lawmakers have passed a bill that may help victims of sexual harassment and other discrimination have their day in court and, thus, have a better chance of getting the justice they deserve.
If you've ever seen a coworker subjected to inappropriate behavior, it can be a helpless feeling. You want to step in but aren't sure what exactly would be the most helpful.