If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment, does it matter who you hire to represent you? Of course it does.
The right to work free from harassment or discrimination based on sex or gender is a civil right in California. Sexual harassment comes in many forms and includes unwanted and unwelcome visual, verbal or physical conduct that is of a sexual nature or sex-based including requests for sexual favors. Employees, independent contractors and even job applicants are protected. Both the company and the harasser are liable to the victim of harassment, although, different rules apply depending on whether the harasser is a co-worker or a supervisor. Companies are strictly liable for harassment by supervisors and managers.
California employers having at least fifty employees must provide all supervisory employees located in California with at least two hours of classroom or "interactive" training regarding sexual harassment prevention and correction. This fifty employee requirement includes employees in other states, not just California. The training must be provided at least once every two years. Also, new supervisory employees must receive training within six months after being hired. [See Gov.C. § 12950.1(a),(c)].
In sexual harassment cases, as with many other types of employment cases, such as racial discrimination, disability discrimination, etc., the harasser or bad guy usually is a repeat offender. If your boss is sexually harassing you, chances are good that he has done it before. Indeed, for certain types of sexual harassers, such as those supervisors that force employees to have sexual relationship with them in order to keep their job, it is not even uncommon to find that the harasser has a history of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape or other misconduct towards women.
The United States Supreme Court struck down laws against same sex marriage today. This ruling is a giant step in the evolution of our society away from sexual orientation discrimination.
Sexual harassment in the workplace can come from two sources of employees: (1) co-workers; and (2) supervisors. Whether or not an employer is liable for the harassment is viewed differently depending on the type of harasser.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its 2012 Enforcement and Litigation Statistics which provides that while the number of sexual harassment claims filed has decreased from 7,809 in 2011 to 7,571 in 2012, the percentage of charges filed by males has increased from 16.1% to 17.8%. Although the majority of EEOC sexual harassment charges are filed by women, this increase in charges filed by men is significant.
An administrative judge for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") awarded $231,425 to a former civilian technician for the District of Columbia Air National Guard. The EEOC found that she had endured months of sexual harassment from a senior coworker while serving at Andrews Air Force Base. According to reports, Vikki Rouleau complained to supervisors in May 2010 about unwanted sexual advances from a senior coworker at the base. Ms. Rouleau had alleged that the National Guard took no corrective action, and that after she was forced to continue to work in frequent contact with the harassing coworker for several more months. She resigned in November of the same year.
Amid sexual harassment allegations, Colin McGinn, a prominent philosopher at the University of Miami, is leaving amid allegations that he sent improper sexually oriented messages to a graduate student, all according to reports. It is reported that part way through the 2012-13 academic year, Mr. McGinn signed an agreement with the university stating that he will formally depart at the end of December 2013, several faculty members who are close to the philosopher said. The university declined to confirm Mr. McGinn's job status.
The head of a Michigan Arab-American civil rights group who faces a multitude of sexual-harassment charges is now being investigated by the U.S. Attorneys Office.