Sexual harassment at work is unacceptable. No California worker should feel like they need to tolerate inappropriate and unwanted sex advances in the workplace. Under California employment laws, sexual harassment includes a variety of behavior, not just physical touch. In fact, sexual harassment also includes comments of a sexual nature, sexual jokes, pictures or other sexual images, sexual gestures and other obscene conduct. It is also illegal for employers to offer sexual favors in exchange for some positive reward at work.
Despite the fact that this behavior is not allowed under employee laws, it still happens, more often than people like to think. Recently, a number of women have come forward accusing San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment.
The eleventh woman to come forward was a 67-year-old employee from the Senior Citizen's Service Desk in San Diego City Hall. According to the woman, she met with the mayor in order to obtain his help with an Iraq war veteran. This veteran had been living with the woman after she suffered from mental health issues and needed help obtaining services.
According to the woman, while meeting with the mayor, he excused everyone from the room but her. When they were alone, the mayor made sexual comments and rubbed the woman's arm. He apparently implied that he would only help the veteran if the woman agreed to go out on dates with him.
The woman now wants the city attorney to investigate the mayor for sexual harassment. The mayor has recently begun therapy. The woman says that she will not file a civil suit at this time.
While this woman isn't pursuing civil liability, it is an option. Those who have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace should know that they may eligible for compensation by filing suit.
Source: CNN, "Nurse accuses San Diego mayor of sexual harassment in his office," Michael Martinez, Aug. 6, 2013