The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits harassment involving sex or gender. Any employer in California has a legal duty to prevent sexual harassment, and pursuant to Government Code section 12940(k), an employer “must take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring.” Penalties for sexual harassment violations are severe. Whether there has been no denial of pay or loss of benefits is irrelevant. The employer can still be held liable. Some examples of sexual harassment might be:
- Offering an employee a promotion or raise in return for sex
- An employer threatening or retaliating against an employee after sexual advances were ignored or refused
- One employee making sexual gestures to another employee inside of the workplace
- Employers or employees sending sexually explicit emails
California protects employees from retaliation when they pursue allegations of sexual harassment. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, contact me for experienced and aggressive representation.