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What employers can do about sexual harassment lawsuits

Category: Sexual Harassment

When a manager in California sexually harasses a worker, the worker may choose to file a civil complaint against their employer. Although employers in other states are able to dispute sexual harassment claims by arguing that they took immediate corrective action after learning about the harassment, this type of defense is not available to employers in California.

In California, employers must create comprehensive policies on sexual harassment and train their managers on these policies if they wish to avoid potential lawsuits. While policies to discourage sexual harassment and frequent training on these policies will not provide employers with a defense, they are likely to cut down on the number of sexual harassment incidents that occur at a workplace.

If employers wish to protect themselves against the financial impact of sexual harassment claims, they can purchase employment practices liability insurance. Some employers purchase an EPLI policy because they have many managers and want to protect themselves against the possibility that a manager could harass an employee. EPLI insurance policies cover companies and their managers against lawsuits that might be filed by current and former employees and job candidates.

An employee who has been sexually harassed by a manager at work can file a sexual harassment claim whether or not their employer has EPLI insurance. Many employees decide to seek representation from an attorney while building a sexual harassment claim against their employer. If an employee suffered damages from the sexual harassment such as losing their job or being passed over for a promotion, an attorney may be able to help them to pursue financial compensation for these damages.

Source: The Business Journals, “How employers can protect themselves from catastrophic harassment claims,” Jay Starkman, May 5, 2015

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