In a rare display of bipartisan cooperation, members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the political aisle have voiced support for legislation introduced by a California Democrat that would introduce mandatory sexual harassment training for lawmakers and their staffs. During a Nov. 14 House hearing, Representative Jackie Speier pointed to a recent spate of sexual harassment allegations, which have been leveled against both Republicans and Democrats, as evidence that action is necessary.
Pregnant women in California and elsewhere are protected by law from most types of employment discrimination. For instance, it is illegal to refuse to hire someone because of a pregnancy. It is also illegal for an employer to fire a worker after becoming pregnant. Furthermore, pregnant employees typically have the right to take time off to seek prenatal care without putting their jobs in jeopardy.
When a California employee has a harassment complaint, human resources is supposed to talk to the accuser, the accused and any witnesses to the harassing behavior. Once that initial step has taken place, employees are supposed to be made aware of an investigation's findings. However, not all employers do this. In some cases, HR may try to claim that a complaint was never made or that an interview with a victim ever took place.
California readers may be surprised to learn that approximately 30 percent of college-educated, white-collar workers have a federally defined disability of some sort. This information comes from a new study by the Center for Talent Innovation.
With surveys revealing that 25 percent of women and a smaller percentage of men endure sexual harassment at work, many people will likely witness the behavior while on the job in California. Over 70 percent of victims do not report their mistreatment because they fear retaliation. Co-workers typically stay silent as well, but their willingness to speak up could discourage an abusive workplace culture.