While people in California may have been aware of sexual harassment in the workplace for a long time, many may have just seen it as part of business. It was very prevalent in the workplace for a long time and many times nothing was done about it. Now it has come to the forefront of the public's attention, and many high profile individuals have been accused of sexual harassment and lost their jobs because of it. So, it would seem that employers would be aware of the importance of protecting their employees from sexual harassment, but many employers still allow it to happen.
Recently an employee UC Irvine filed a lawsuit against a volunteer at the university and the University of California for sexual harassment. The employee states that a volunteer made many inappropriate comments to her, called her many times and forcibly hugged and kissed her on multiple occasions. He even took a picture of her and made it the screen saver for his phone. The employee made multiple complaints to her managers and others in authority at the University, but nothing was done because the volunteer raised money for the University.
This is clearly inappropriate behavior and apparently it was allowed to happen because the University was able to receive more money through this volunteer's fundraising. The fact that the University knew about it and did nothing makes the situation even worse. If the employee is successful, just like other victims of sexual harassment, she may be entitled to compensation from both the person who harassed her and her employer for allowing it to happen. The University may also be required to change policies on how they handle these situations.
Unfortunately even though sexual harassment in California is being taken much more seriously, there are still many employees who experience it at work. This is illegal and the victims of the harassment may be entitled to compensation for the emotional distress it caused as well as other compensation based how the harassment affected their employment. It is important that victims receive the full amount of compensation they deserve though and consulting with an experienced attorney may be beneficial.