Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that affects employees and businesses alike. In California, the law is clear in its stance against workplace sexual harassment, and both employers and employees should be aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when it affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
- Employer Responsibility
Employers in California have a legal obligation to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace. They must take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring, such as providing training to employees and having clear policies in place. If an employee complains about sexual harassment, the employer must take prompt and effective action to stop the harassment and prevent it from happening again.
- Employee Rights
Employees in California have the right to work in a harassment-free environment. They can make a complaint to their employer or file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing if they believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. If the employer fails to take appropriate action, the employee may also file a lawsuit.
- Time Limits for Filing Claims
In California, employees generally have one year from the date of the last incident of harassment to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. If the employee decides to file a lawsuit, they must do so within two years of the last incident of harassment.
- Remedies for Victims of Sexual Harassment
Victims of sexual harassment in California may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages. They may also be able to recover attorney’s fees and costs if they win their case.
In California, sexual harassment complaints are generally kept confidential to protect the privacy of the parties involved. However, in some cases, such as when the victim requests that their name be disclosed or when the case goes to court, the information may become public.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal in California and employees should be aware of their rights. If you believe that you have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important to take action promptly to protect your rights. Contact the Law Office of Corey A. Pingle today for a free consultation.