Sexual harassment has long been a major problem in workplaces across the world. Even here in progressive California, it is a systemic problem that generates an uncounted number of employment lawsuits each year. The recent #MeToo movement that swept through headlines and major corporations alike has only brought workplace sexual harassment closer to society’s attention, and it caught the eyes of lawmakers as well.
California recently passed Senate Bill 1343, signed by Governor Brown, to combat sexual harassment in the workplace by improving sexual harassment training and retraining requirements for most employers. Previously, mandatory sexual harassment training was only required of employers with 50 or more employees, but that number has been reduced to just 5 or more. The mandatory training was also just two hours for supervisors, but that requirement has been expanded to one hour for non-supervisors, too.
Effectively, many, many more workers in California should soon be fully aware of behaviors that constitute workplace sexual harassment and know how to avoid them. In fact, the law requires that retraining or new training be completed by January 1st, 2020. At that point, there will be essentially no excuse for most employers to allow or turn a blind eye to sexual harassment that is worsening the workplace for some of their employees.
What to Do When Sexually Harassed at Work
California allows you to hold anyone in your company accountable for sexual harassment through a lawsuit, which may end in compensation, depending on the details of each individual case. However, the situation will devolve into your word against another’s – if you aren’t prepared to prove what happened.
Start by always reporting any incidents of sexual harassment to your company’s Human Resources Department. If your employer is relatively small and has no HR department, then tell your immediate supervisor or boss, assuming they are not the one sexually harassing you. It is important to make a clear trail of evidence and complaints that you can highlight when you are required to escalate the situation to a lawsuit for workplace discrimination and a hostile work environment.
At Polaris Law Group, we assist employees seek compensation and justice after facing discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. Our focus is geared towards major corporations and large companies with hundreds of employees, as these businesses are often more likely to try to sweep valid sexual harassment complaints out of view and out of mind. We are ready to stand for you and be your voice.
Call us at (888) 796-4010 to arrange a free consultation with our California employment law firm.