Our ability to get a job and advance our careers is supposed to be based on our talents, education, prior experience, people skills and similar assets. No job in California should be based on the job holder’s ability to provide sexual favors to a co-worker or superior.
Unfortunately, some companies tolerate sexual harassment among its managers or workforce. They create an atmosphere where employees are subjected to demands for sex, sexual remarks or promises of promotion or other advantages in exchange for sexual contact.
And when victims of harassment complain, these businesses do not take their reports seriously. Not only do they fail to investigate or take action against the harasser, they may even retaliate against the accuser for “making waves.” It is common for victims of sexual harassment to endure retaliation from their employers, up to wrongful termination.
Where do victims go from here? First, they should know that the law is on their side. Sexual harassment is illegal in California. Victims have the right to take to court an employer who did not do their duty once it learned of the harassment.
When to sue often depends on the individual. It may make sense to leave the toxic environment and get a new job first, for the victim’s mental health if nothing else.
A pattern of committing or tolerating sexual harassment can lead to an employer with numerous current and former employees with claims. It may take a class action lawsuit to get some particularly irresponsible companies to finally take sexual harassment seriously.