In California, most employees are at-will employees. This status limits the amount of protections that an employee is entitled to in the workplace. However, federal and state law has set some rules when it comes to acceptable treatment of employees. Employers do not have free reign to treat employees however they like.
A group of female firefighters from Region 5 -- in California -- of the U.S. Forest Service are preparing to sue the federal government. The group claims that they have been subject to sexual harassment and other sexual abuse while on the job. The group claims that it has complained about the problem with the government before but no action was taken.
California workers should never have to go to work and face a hostile work environment created by someone's inappropriate sexual comments, jokes or harassing behavior. Even if the behavior does not cross the line to sexual assault, workers still have employment law protections against unwanted sexual advances and other sexual harassment.
More than 100 female employees of one of the largest truck driving companies in the nation, based in the Midwest, have complained of unwanted sexual advances from male drivers during training rides across the country. The women gave detailed accounts to a federal agency of how they faced groping and sexual assault in the trucks and how receiving a passing grade depended on their reactions to the advances.