California Law Mandates That Employers Train Supervisors How To Handle Sexual Harassment Complaints – There is No Reason To Acquiesce Being The Victim of Sexual Harassment 1

Both Federal & California State Laws forbid any form of sexual harassment. Stand-up for your rights and help put an end to sexual harassment. By not standing your ground, you are encouraging this type of workplace harassment. 

San Diego, California, October 9, 2020, Sexual Harassment in the workplace is not a new problem. It can be directed at both women and men. Years ago, there was a great stigma that prevented such egregious conduct from being reported. In many cases, it was fear of retaliation, such as being demoted or fired under false pretense. Gradually laws changed and victims felt more empowered to come forward and file a complaint. There are now sexual harassment attorneys that specialize in the field and they should be consulted to ensure the best outcome.

Employees are now protected by both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. The statutes are quite clear and Employers and Supervisors should become very familiar with them.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment? 

  • Discussion of Sexual Acts.
  • Threats to Endanger Your Conditions of Employment or Benefits if You Do not Comply With a Sexual Request.
  • Rude Gestures and Leering.
  • Sexually Suggestive or Obscene Messages, Graphic Comments, and Sexually Degrading Words.
  • Unwanted Physical Contact.
  • Derogatory Slurs, Jokes, Epithets, or Comments.
  • Unwanted Sexual Offers.
  • Offering Benefits in Exchange for Sexual Favors.
  • Adverse Impacts Following a Complaint About Harassment, Including Loss of Benefits or Employment.
  • Having Someone Block or Impede Your Movements.
  • Displaying or Giving Out Sexually Suggestive Pictures, Posters, Cartoons, or Objects.

It is important to understand that some actions listed above, if welcomed by the recipient, would not count as sexual harassment; such as mutual consent by two coworkers to go out on a date. However, an action being “Welcome” at one point does not mean that it cannot become “Unwelcome” in the future.

Understanding The Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault: 

Sexual harassment includes many acts, and violations are usually Civil in nature. On the other hand, Sexual Assault includes the forcing of an unwilling party to engage in sexual contact and actions through violence, incapacitation, or coercion. Sexual Assault is usually a Felony and it can include vastly different legal repercussions than sexual harassment.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, you should:

  • Report your incident to the local police.
  • See a health care provider.
  • Consider contacting a crisis hotline.
  • Reach out to friends, family, and community agencies for support.

Above all, do not let yourself fall prey to The Stockholm Syndrome, where the victim develops positive feelings toward the person abusing them. This can be the result of continuous abuse over a long period of time. Do not be complacent if you, or someone you know, is a victim of workplace sexual harassment.

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