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Dealing with Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Both men and women have to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, be it with a higher positioned employee or client. Individuals who work in any environment should learn the warning signs and know how to deal with someone who continues to harass in a sexual manner. Below is a short guide on how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. Recognize Harassment To get started, you need to be able to recognize when harassment is taking place. Sexual matters should not be discussed in the workplace, yet such discussions do take place. When an individual discusses something that you do not wish to talk about, you have the right to say so. If the individual continues and tries to make you feel uncomfortable, this is a form of harassment. The most common form comes in sexual advances of the individual, with the harasser trying to get a date, hookup or even unwanted touching. Know Your Human Resources Department Whenever you begin to work in a new position, it is important to get to know the Human Resources Department. This is who you would report to if an issue of sexual harassment were to take place. Human Resources can assist you with filing a complaint and taking care of any issues that may exist in the workplace. If you are subject to any type of sexual harassment, speak to someone. Never put up with such behaviors. If you find that higher ranking officials are trying to push you to do something you do not wish, perhaps to keep your positioning within a company, seek legal advice. Romain...

What is Sexual Harassment in California?

The workplace requires constant and close interaction with your supervisors, co-workers, and subordinate employees.  Relationships will develop ranging from strictly business to those that are more cordial. However, there can be times when the conduct of your officemates may go beyond what you deem appropriate for the workplace.  You may feel that you have been sexually harassed but are unsure what conduct would constitute harassment.  Sexual harassment is defined as employment discrimination consisting in unwelcome verbal or physical of a sexual nature.  Here, we will give you a little bit of an overview of what constitutes sexual harassment in the state of California. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment There are two forms of sexual harassment.  The first form of sexual harassment is known as quid pro quo (Latin for “this for that”) sexual harassment.  Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor or employer offers the employee some reward, work advantage or job benefits in exchange for sexual favors or acceptance of the harassment.  Under California law, an employer will be held strictly liable for the sexual harassment committed by the supervisor, and will have no legal defense available in court.   If successful in court, a plaintiff can recover:      Lost wages and compensation of other economic losses      Emotional distress damages      Interest and attorney fees    Punitive damages (if the employer’s officers, directors or managing agents knew of the harassment) Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment The second type of sexual harassment is Hostile Work Environment (HWE) sexual harassment. HWE harassment is harassment deemed so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment.  Supervisors, co-workers, or...
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