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Employer obligations related to sexual harassment

Category: Sexual Harassment

California employers have several obligations as it relates to stopping sexual harassment in the workplace. Under state law, they must take any and all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination or sexual harassment from occurring. One such step is to display a poster from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or a similar document that is visible by employees.

Regardless of how an employer chooses to fulfill the requirement, the poster must have several key pieces of information on it. These include a definition of sexual harassment as well as a description of what sexual harassment may look like. It must also include information about how an employee may make a complaint if he or she feel as if they have been discriminated against. Furthermore, it must say that sexual harassment is illegal and that employers cannot retaliate against employees for making a complaint. Generally, those who report sexual harassment must do so within a year of the harassment taking place.

Employers that have more than 50 employees must provide sexual harassment classroom training to all supervisors. This must take place for any new hires within six months of being placed in such a position. The law requires two hours of classroom or interactive training initially and additional training every two years.

Those who feel that they have been victims of quid pro quo or other forms of sexual harassment may wish to hire an attorney. This may help to preserve an individual’s rights under the law. An attorney may to establish through company documents and employee testimony that a pattern of discrimination took place. If successful, it may be possible to help a worker win compensation in the form of punitive damages as well as for lost wages if he or she was illegally terminated.

Source: CA.Gov, “EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS“, December 22, 2014

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