October 2, 2013 Category: Hostile Work Environment
In a difficult economy, many people may fear the possibility of losing their jobs and being unable to provide for themselves and their families. This fear can make it very difficult for some people to report wrongdoing in a workplace. Unfortunately, many California employees who are victims of sexual harassment on the job often feel as though they have no choice but to endure the harassment and a hostile work environment.
However, there are legal options for people who are in these difficult situations. For example, nearly a dozen employees at a fruit processing plant in California recently filed a lawsuit against the company for failing to address sexual harassment concerns that were filed with the human resources department.
According to reports, many men and women were treated unfairly on the job. Women were sexually harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment by male supervisors who would touch them inappropriately and demand sex for promotions. They would also threaten the job security of the women’s family members who also worked at the plant if they complained. Men also were punished for complaining about the harassment by not getting rehired when another company took over the plant.
The lawsuit argues that nothing was done to address the complaints, even after they were reported to human resources. No action was taken against the offending supervisor and no steps were taken to stop the harassment or protect the victims.
Victims of sexual harassment often experience serious emotional and physical trauma as a result of the mistreatment. It is not uncommon to feel embarrassed, ashamed or frightened in these situations, but it is important to remember that there are ways to take action against the inappropriate and unlawful actions of a supervisor. With the help of an attorney, these victims can hold employers accountable for the harassment and hopefully prevent them from putting others through the same devastation.
Source: KFSN, “Fruit processing plant sued for sexual assault, harassment,” Rick Montanez, Sept. 25, 2013