As many people in California are aware, sexual harassment is something that has been prevalent in many different areas of society. One of these areas is in the workplace. Many employees have been subject to sexual harassment from bosses, supervisors, managers and fellow co-workers. However, no matter who initiates the sexual harassment it is not only inappropriate, but it is also illegal. The person subjected to it may be able to receive compensation as a result.

To help prevent it from occurring, employers in California are required to have a sexual harassment prevention policy. This policy must be written and provided to the employees. The policy must state what behavior and activities are prohibited and must have a complaint process, which provide a timely, confidential and impartial resolution of an employee’s complaint. The employee must also be able to report the complaint to someone other than their direct supervisors.

Finally and most importantly, the policy must include appropriate measures be taken if, after an investigation, it is found that sexual harassment occurred. The policy must also make it clear that there will be no retaliation against an employee making a complaint. If an employer does not have a policy according to these guidelines or does not follow the policy appropriately, they may need to compensate employees who are harmed as a result. Also, if the employer retaliates against employees for making complaints, they also may need to compensate the employee.

Unfortunately sexual harassment is much more prevalent in California workplaces than it should be. In an effort to reduce this behavior, California now requires employers to have written policies that are given to each employee informing them of their rights and to have a complaint process to deal with complaints from employees. If employers do not have these policies, they may be opening themselves up to lawsuits and need to compensate employees as a result. It is important for employees to understand their rights and experienced attorneys may be a useful resource.

Source: California Code of Regulations, “§ 11023 Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Correction” accessed on Oct. 25, 2017