When Is an Employer Liable for Sexual Harassment at Work

Aug 23, 2018

The purpose of going to work in California is to do your job and to earn an income. Co-workers and others within the company may develop friendships and other relationships, but those are based on an employee’s own choosing. However, there are people within companies that employees do not want to associate with on any other level than a professional level.

Unfortunately, there are many employees who are forced to endure unwanted comments and advances from co-workers and supervisors. This oftentimes comes in the form of sexual harassment, which is an illegal activity. The employee may be entitled to compensation for this activity from the employer. However, the employer is not automatically liable in all situations.

The employer may be liable if the harassment was committed by a supervisor who took a negative action against the victim such as a demotion. The employer may also be liable if the harassment was committed by a supervisor and resulted in a hostile work environment, although the employer has certain defenses in this situation. If the harassment was by a co-worker, the employer may be liable if they knew about it and did not take corrective action. If the employer did not know about it or the employee refused the corrective action the employer may not be liable. If the harassment occurred between two co-workers then the employer needs to be made aware of it and take no corrective action in order to be liable.

Sexual harassment in the workplace has received a lot of attention in California recently through the #metoo movement. It is evident that sexual harassment is unfortunately relatively common, and there are many victims. The victims may be entitled to compensation for this harassment, but it is important that the employer is aware of the harassment. Otherwise the employer may not be liable to the victim. It is important that victims of sexual harassment understand their rights, so they can protect them.

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