Despite what some employers may think, all employers in California have some responsibilities to keep their employees safe. Under California and federal employment laws, employers must not only keep their employees safe from physical harm but they have the responsibility to protect employees from harassment in the workplace. In other words, employers cannot just sit idly by as employees suffer from harassment.
Obviously, the employer must not participate in sexual harassment. Furthermore, if an employer knows harassment, especially of a sexual nature, is going on, they must do everything they can to stop it. If the employer participates in or fails to stop sexual harassment, an employee can collect damages.
One group of female employees has recently claimed that their employer, Braun Electric, allowed sexual harassment to continue in their workplace. Due to the harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- a federal agency -- has sued Braun Electric on behalf of the female employees.
The EEOC and the employees claim that in 2010 one male manager began to sexually harass the female employees. He would allegedly make sexual remarks, jokes, gestures and share sexual fantasies about the employees. Braun Electric supposedly did nothing to stop the harassment despite employees complaining.
Before bringing the suit, the EEOC tried to settle with Braun Electric outside of court. Settlement often offers an opportunity for employers and employees to quickly put the incident behind them. However, settlement was not reached and a suit was brought. These women, and others in California who have suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace, deserve compensation either from a settlement or from a court suit for all they have been through.
Source: Taft Midway Driller, "Braun Electric sued, accused of allowing sexual harrassment," Sept. 28, 2012