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.
Individuals who work in California are protected from harassment and discrimination when they are performing the duties of their jobs. The laws that apply to many employers ensure that workers are not treated badly by their employers due to the workers' races, genders, religious beliefs and other protected classes. Workers are also protected from sexual harassment when they are at work through the application of several important laws.
We all have expectations for what it will be like working at our place of employment. Maybe we fall short when it comes to day-to-day work tasks, but one expectation that should always exist is being treated properly in the workplace. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. An employee might feel mistreated or harassed. Even more so, an employee may find that these acts are sexual in nature, leading to a sexual harassment suit.
A workplace that was supposed to be a training ground for new and disabled workers was the target of a recent lawsuit. Eight workers won a settlement against a California Goodwill franchise and its affiliate after claiming sexual harassment. The workers said that they were repeatedly harassed by their direct supervisor.