In an effort to help employers become more proactive in hindering sexual harassment claims in the workplace, changes have been made to California’s employment laws.
As of January 1, 2021, an employer has five or more employees shall provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding sexual harassment to all nonsupervisory employees in California. Thereafter, each employer covered by this section shall provide sexual harassment training and education to each employee in California once every two years. Further, the training is inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
Training regarding “bullying” or “abusive conduct” in the workplace is also now required. “Abusive conduct” means malicious conduct of an employer or employee in the workplace that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests. This may include repeated instances of derogatory remarks and insults or verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating. It also includes the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. See, Government Code Section 12950.1.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?
According to the Civil Rights Act. Title VII, sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. Employers with 15 or more employees fall under Title VII which bans two types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo harassment: This occurs when a supervisor’s request for sexual favors or other sexual conduct results in a tangible job action. Examples: “I’ll give you the promotion if you sleep with me” or “I’ll fire you unless you go out with me.”
- Hostile work environment: This occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome and unsolicited physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. This can be so severe that it has effects on the employee’s working conditions and creates a difficult and abusive work environment.
Most quid pro quo harassment is to some extent straightforward. Hostile work environment claims on the other hand can be more difficult to detect. What types of behaviors qualify as harassment? How much is enough to qualify as harassment?
What Should You Do?
If you believe you have been sexually harassed at work, there are certain steps you should take to protect your interests.
Contact Urbanic & Associates – Sexual Harassment Attorney
Have you been the target of workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation? If so, call Wrongful Termination Attorney, James Urbanic. James Urbanic is a Los Angeles discrimination attorney, who has been helping clients since 2000. The trusted legal team at Urbanic & Associates has been dedicated to aggressively advocating our clients’ rights, helping them stand up to even the most formidable opponents in any legal setting.
To discuss your options with attorney James Urbanic, call him at (310) 216-0900.