January 10, 2023
In 2019, 33% of women and 28% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment at work, according to a research by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Center for Gender Equity and Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. The figures are 10% higher for men and 5% higher for women in California. Sexual harassment at work is against the law, despite being widespread. With the assistance of a California employment attorney, you can obtain justice.
California’s Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws
Sexual harassment must be severe enough to foster a hostile work environment in order to qualify as such. The goal does not always have to be an individual. Witnessing sexual harassment of a coworker can make it more difficult for that person to perform their job duties.
Examples of such behavior might be:
- Hostile expressions/looks
- Explicit remarks that are viewed as rude and make someone feel unsafe
- Knowingly making sexually suggestive physical contact or brushing against another person
- Insisting on a phone number or a date even after being declined
- Quid Pro Quo: The practice of offering a promotion, raise in pay, or other forms of job rewards in exchange for sexual favors from a person in a superior position (supervisor or manager). The worker may face a promotion or dismissal if these favors are not given.
What should you do if the behavior continues?
The next step should be to report the harassment to Human Resources or management if, after calling out a coworker for their behavior, nothing changes or if it is impossible to speak with them. It is crucial to be able to present any supporting documentation, including any emails, texts, or diaries that document the bullying, as well as the names of any witnesses.
It is essential to speak with a California-based employee rights attorney if the firm refuses to take appropriate action or, worse yet, retaliates by firing the employee. Contrary to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only protects businesses with at least fifteen workers, California law covers all private, public, and local employers, and it is still feasible to pursue compensation even if one’s employer is a tiny business.