In California, employers are responsible for creating safe workplace environments. This includes sexual harassment, which includes any unwelcome advances or conduct that is sexual in nature. When sexual harassment incidents occur at work, some employees may find that the workplace becomes intimidating, offensive or even hostile.
There are many different forms of sexual harassment. For example, an employee can be accused of sexual harassment if they make derogatory comments toward a coworker, telling sexually explicit jokes or using suggestive or explicit language in emails. Other forms of sexual harassment can include having a supervisor implying that a coworker must sleep with him or her in order to get a raise or promotion. Employers and employees should be aware that both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment.
To help maintain a safe workplace, companies can create a clear sexual harassment policy. Employers can also include information about preventing sexual harassment in their employee training. They should focus on situations that fall into the realm of sexual harassment but may not be considered as such by employees. Employees who experience sexual harassment should be encouraged to report incidents. Finally, all sexual harassment allegations and reports should be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
When employees become victims of unwanted sexual advances, lewd comments or quid pro quo harassment, they may find the workplace to be intimidating. In some cases, the sexual harassment can cause employees to miss out on promotions, prevent them from working to the best of their abilities and have a negative impact on their emotional health. If a worker reports sexual harassment incidents but the employer refuses to investigate, an employment attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the employer.