Sexual harassment can take place within retail establishments in California, so it is important that employers have a policy in place that describes what sexual harassment is and how it should be reported. Reports that are made should be forwarded to a human resources official or to anyone else trained to handle them. Furthermore, the system must ensure that allegations of harassment will be investigated even if the perpetrator is in a position of power.
As a general rule, harassment is seen as any activity that creates a hostile workplace. The victim may be targeted based on gender, race or national origin. Those over the age of 40 are also protected against harassment based on their age. If a person makes a report of sexual or any other type of harassment, a company is not allowed to retaliate against that individual.
The same is true of those who participate in or cooperate with an investigation in any way. Furthermore, the use of nondisclosure agreements or similar arrangements may not be seen as valid in a sexual harassment case. If sexual harassment complaints are not investigated, it could result in significant penalties for an employer. For example, employees may be entitled to compensation for mental stress or other health problems related to their experience at work.
Those who lost a job or experienced other negative consequences after reporting sexual harassment may have been unfairly retaliated against. Those who have been the victim of lewd jokes or requests for sexual favors might also be victims. Victims may be able to pursue compensation for damages incurred because of an employer's violation of existing employment law. An attorney may be able to review a case and represent a harassment victim in a lawsuit or during settlement talks outside of court.