California Employment Counsel, APC
Strong Advocates For California Workers
Start Your Free Consultation

Costa Mesa Employment Law Blog

Stand up to, confront sexual harassment in workplace

Sexual harassment should never be condoned or accepted in the workplace, but it has been for years. Lately though, the culture and attitude toward sexual harassment has steadily shifted. It’s not OK; it’s not normal behavior, so don’t tolerate it! Increasingly more people have come forward to report incidents of sexual harassment, and society is applauding.

It’s not easy coming forward with such a complaint, though. Many victims – most of whom are women – fear retribution in some form. They are vulnerable and feel as if they don’t have power. Among their fears include the loss of job hours, being given poor work shifts, being ostracized by colleagues, and flat out being fired from their jobs.

Sexual harassment a serious problem for California nurses

In a field dominated by women, nurses are particularly susceptible to sexual harassment in the workplace. This is especially true considering that many nurses fail to report incidents of harassment, no matter who was at fault.

Many nurses have developed a thick skin, and are used to the “sexy nurse” stereotypes that doctors, patients and other nurses may impose on them. But many times, the comments or flirtatious winks that result could lead to more serious sexual harassment incidents for nurses.

"Panic button" could protect hotel workers from sexual harassment

When you are sexually harassed by a co-worker, supervisor or manager, you know you have a right to take legal action. But what if a customer sexually harasses you in the workplace?

One industry that experiences this most often is the hotel industry. One study found that as many as 58 percent of hotel workers have been sexually harassed by a guest. A bill proposed to the California legislature aims to change that.

Sexual Harassment Training Now Includes Sexual Orientation

The fall of various prominent men due to sexual harassment accusations is very much in the news. It is also clear that such harassment went on for years, even decades, and victims were too intimidated or frightened to report these crimes. Sexual harassment of state workers in Sacramento appears to exist at epic levels, according to news reports. The good news about this recent media coverage is that more people are feeling empowered to file sexual harassment claims against employers rather than keeping quiet about an intolerable situation. Not all victims of sexual harassment are women. The fact that one accused celebrity, actor Kevin Spacey, is a gay man alleged to have preyed upon young males may encourage gay or transsexual victims of sexual harassment to come forward.

Sexual Harassment Doesn't Belong At Work

Sexual harassment deserves no tolerance in the workplace, yet unfortunately it is something that is experienced far more than we as a culture are often willing to talk about. Recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein have brought the topic of sexual harassment into the open. The #MeToo campaign that dominated social media for much of the early half of October 2017 have directed even more conversation towards this concern, and there are many men and women alike who are left to wonder to what extent they ought to pursue allegations against their own harassers.

Sexual harassment can look a lot of different ways. It is not always violent, and it most certainly does not always lead to assault. There are even plenty instances of sexual harassment that are well-intentioned, but that does not take-away from the fact that the attentions are unwarranted and entirely inappropriate--especially in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment in California Higher Education

California has an extensive private and public university system, with the University of California alone home to more than 200,000 students at one time and more than 190,000 faculty and staff. Recent cases of reported sexual harassment in the University of California system, along with a report issued by the system's president Janet Napolitano, highlight the pervasiveness of sexual harassment on college campuses.

Employment Contracts and Sexual Harassment

Employees who signed contracts may have found themselves in an expensive bind should they have had to sue the employer for sexual harassment if the employer was based out of state. To sue, an employee's contract may have stated that any legal action must have been taken in the jurisdiction and/or venue of the employer's base. If an employer was based on the east coast, this could cause an employee to drop a sexual harassment complaint due to the cost of traveling back and forth for litigation, and the additional risk of retaining an attorney out of state.

California Tackles Investor Relationships And Sexual Harassment

California is without a doubt the tech capital of the United States, and tech startups usually rely on investors to get off the ground. Unfortunately, there is a history of sexual harassment against women in the tech industry, sometimes involving cases in which investors were accused of harassing women in order to receive financial backing. Because California law does not specifically address the investor/entrepreneur relationship, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB 224 to clarify the issue.

Understanding Third-Party Sexual Harassment

While many people are aware that they are protected against sexual harassment by coworkers, supervisors and employers, many may not realize that they also have rights when it comes to third-party sexual harassment. As with other cases, third parties are not free to touch, make explicit suggestions or engage in any other behavior that is considered harassment under the law. This is true whether the harassment takes place in the workplace or when you are representing your employer as part of your duties off-premises. Third parties might include customers, vendors, repair persons and others, and under California and federal law your employer must take steps to deal with sexual harassment committed by these parties.

Who Is Covered Under Sexual Harassment Legislation?

When you go to work, you're expecting a non-hostile environment. That is why there has been legislation put in place to protect standard employees from sexual harassment. The laws have had to be amended since the word employee has had to be defined, and more situations keep arising where individuals need to be protected against discrimination and sexual harassment. Recent laws show that current legislation is constantly being amended to accommodate everyone to the best of the laws ability, and seeking legal assistance can help you keep up to date with the laws on sexual harassment.

Contact Us For A Free Case Evaluation

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy