Sexual harassment in the workplace can be disruptive, demeaning and embarrassing for California employees. Sexual harassment, under California employment laws, includes unwanted sexual advances, sexual propositions, gestures, jokes, sexually suggestive notes or letters, unwanted physical touch or offering benefits in exchange for sexual favors. Additionally, sexual harassment includes any threats or negative consequences for turning down sexual advances. Sexual harassment also includes any harassment based on gender, pregnancy or childbirth.
According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, California employees must prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. In fact, California employers have several obligations when it comes to sexual harassment. First, they have to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring in the first place. Secondly, employers need to post a poster in the workplace about sexual harassment created by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Additionally, California employees are required to distribute information about sexual harassment. This brochure must include information explaining that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, and the state and federal laws that govern sexual harassment. It must also explain what type of conduct amounts to sexual harassment and the ways to report it within the company. Furthermore, it must explain the ways to report the harassment outside of the company.
If the employer has more than 50 employees, then the employer must provide sexual harassment training to supervisors. It must include at least two hours of classroom training within six months of hiring the supervisor.
While these rules are important, they are often over looked by employers. Employees that have suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace can contact an attorney to learn about their legal rights.