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Sexual Harassment Archives

About workplace sexual harassment

California workers should know that the United States Department of Labor recognizes two types of sexual harassment. A hostile work environment is the result of sexual harassment that makes the work area offensive or threatening. Quid pro quo refers to using whether a victim succumbs to sexual harassment as a basis for making employment decisions, such as promotions or work assignments.

Physical therapists face sexual harassment from patients

Someone receiving care from a California physical therapist might not realize how often that professional might endure unwanted sexual advances from patients. A study that surveyed 892 physical therapists reported that 84 percent of them experienced everything from lewd remarks to sexual assault. A portion of victims expressed to researchers the indifference of their employers toward the harassment. Management in some cases considered the harassment to be part of the job and did nothing to protect employees.

Google accused of tolerating sexual and racial harassment

The technology giant Google became mired in a controversy in August after one of its engineers claimed that women were unsuited to work in the technology sector because of their biological characteristics. Google subsequently fired him, but the ensuing media storm has prompted several other women formerly employed by Google to step forward with accounts of sexual and racial discrimination and harassment at the company's California headquarters.

How men can help combat workplace harassment against women

According to a 2016 report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, around one-third of women experience sexual harassment at work. However, women in California and throughout the country may be hesitant to report harassment for a number of reasons including concerns about how it will affect their careers or that they will not be believed. Three-fourths of women who suffered sexual harassment did not discuss it with a union representative or supervisor. Gender discrimination is also an issue, and women report that men are often paid more and promoted more frequently.

HR departments and allegations of sexual harassment

Some California employees who have faced sexual harassment in the workplace may have also found that their company's human resources department did not protect them or investigate as effectively as it should have. According to some obervers, some HR departments are more focused on protecting high performers and top executives than responding effectively to sexual harassment complaints. HR departments may run into conflicts because of a lack of independence, and they may find themselves investigating the very people they work for.

Why companies have not stopped workplace sexual harassment

California employees may be aware that there has been an increasing number of sexual harassment scandals occurring in large companies. Some of the high-profile cases have included employers such as Fox News, Uber and Sterling Jewelers. There are several reasons why the scandals are occurring and will likely continue to occur.

Preventing gender bias in the workplace

California women often experience both gender bias and sexual harassment on the job. The problems that are faced by female employees transcend income levels as women in entry-level and executive positions face gender-based employment discrimination. A poll of female advertising industry employees found that 54 percent of women in that occupation feel vulnerable at work because of their gender.

Workplace sexual harassment and employee safeguards

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment to include verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors and unwelcome sexual advances. Incidents of such behavior in California and around the country, though, may be underreported. According to a national survey conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine, 71 percent of women who said they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace also said they did not report it.

Why Ailes' accusers took a long time to make allegations

California residents may be aware of the resignation of Roger Ailes from his position as CEO of the Fox News Channel. After running it for two decades, Ailes stepped down amid allegations that he sexually harassed female employees for years. A few days later, a guest on a CNN show expressed surprise that Ailes' accusers took so long to talk about the sexual harassment that they had experienced.

Fox News case highlights workplace sexual harassment

California readers may have heard that television news anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment complaint against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes on July 6. The case serves as a reminder that, even in 2016, sexual harassment is still a reality for many American workers.