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Sacramento Employment Law Blog

Health and financial effects of sexual harassment

Workplace sexual harassment is nothing new, but it is an issue that is seeing more awareness and recognition in our society. Thanks to the brave women partaking in the #MeToo movement, there is a spotlight on this pervasive and dangerous problem. One important thing that people are learning about is the various effects of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment in the workplace causes much more than just discomfort. Here are some of the ways that women suffer due to hostile work environments

Limits to reasonable accommodation requirements

At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton, we know that, as a worker with a disability in California, it can sometimes be difficult for you to gain the support you need from your employer to do your job. Nevertheless, the law is on your side. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been in effect for nearly 30 years now and requires that your employer make reasonable accommodations to allow you to perform your work duties on an equal footing with your nondisabled coworkers. 

However, according to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, there are limits to your employer's requirement to provide reasonable accommodation. For example, while your employer may ask for your input regarding what sort of accommodation you would prefer, he or she need not necessarily provide the specific accommodation you request. The employer has the discretion to choose the accommodation that he or she prefers in a situation in which more than one accommodation would suffice. 

The guidelines for filing a complaint

When California workers suspect their employer has violated their rights concerning wages and hours, they may think there is not much they can do. However, people can usually file a complaint to remedy the situation. Before doing this, it is important to understand the guidelines. 

When workers file a complaint, they usually have to submit documentation. MoneyCrashers.com says this includes the worker's contact information, as well as his or her job duties and salary. People may also want to provide their time cards and pay stubs, as well as any personal records they keep about their job. Additionally, people generally have to submit information about their employer.

How do you recognize different types of sexual harassment?

Unfortunately, many workers in California suffer sexual harassment on a regular basis. It can be difficult to take the step to report harassment, especially when it is coming from a supervisor. It may help the matter somewhat if you can recognize the specific type of sexual harassment you are experiencing. According to HR Daily Advisor, there are two types of harassment, and though the effects are similar, the methods involved are significantly different. 

A hostile work environment involves frequent, pervasive and unwelcome conduct in the workplace of a sexual nature. This may take the form of unwanted interactions, sexual jokes, displays of offensive or inappropriate materials, etc. An employee at any level can create a hostile work environment, which can have a negative effect on even those not targeted or targeted indirectly. In other words, you may feel uncomfortable as the result of sexual jokes/comments or inappropriate displays directed at one or more other coworkers. 

Does your work discriminate against pregnancy?

In California, residents are supposed to be able to apply for any job you want without facing discrimination. Unfortunately, not every company will oblige by these laws. At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton, we take your ability to work where you want seriously. We will provide plenty of information to help you avoid being unfairly discriminated against.

A type of discrimination that isn't discussed as frequently as that against sex or race is the discrimination pregnant people face. Legally, if you are pregnant, you should still be allowed to either continue working at your current job or apply to new jobs without your pregnancy hurting your chances of contending.

What exactly is wrongful termination?

As a California employee, your job likely represents one of the most important things in your life. Whether you love it or hate it, your job is where you go and what you do for a significant amount of time each week so you can earn the money you need to pay your bills and hopefully have a little left over for fun things. You need your job and the last thing you need is to get fired from it.

What you need to realize, however, and what FindLaw explains, is that most jobs are “at will.” What this means is that unless you and your employer have a written employment contract, (s)he can fire you whenever (s)he wishes for virtually any reason or for no reason at all. You can likewise quit whenever you wish for virtually any reason or for no reason at all. However, (s)he cannot fire you for an illegal reason. Doing so represents a wrongful termination.

Handling harassment at the workplace

Californian residents all deserve a welcoming and safe environment to work in. Unfortunately, not every workplace provides this. Here are some things to know about harassment at the workplace, how to identify it, and what can be done about it.

FindLaw first lays out the definition of what can constitute harassment at the workplace. First, the employee must face "verbal or physical conduct" that targets the victim's rage, ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender, marital status, or any other classification protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Next, the conduct itself must be unwelcomed by the recipient. Finally, the victim must show that this behavior has altered their conditions of employment and created an environment that is abusive.

Quid pro quo harassment

As a woman, there may be times where advancement in your chosen career is out of your hands. The wrong type of boss can put an unacceptable obstacle in your path, blocking you from a job or promotion you know you deserve.

If your boss or supervisor makes inappropriate offers in exchange for professional rewards, you likely have a case for quid pro quo harassment. You do not have to accept this terrible fate; you can overcome it.

What are common wage and hour violations?

Californian residents like you who are working in the state have several laws in place to protect you. Unfortunately, there will always be employers who try to bend or outright break these laws. The Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton is dedicated to helping you protect yourself from such people, or regain compensation for harms you may have already faced.

Certain violations of wage and hour laws are more common than others. There are some categories that show up over and over again. This can include:

  • Failure to reimburse expenses
  • Failure to provide breaks for rest or meals
  • Delayed payment, nonpayment, or underpayment of overtime and minimum wage

California state senator advances bill to end hair discrimination

There are legitimate health and safety issues related to long hair in the workplace in certain industries. Examples include workers involved in food preparation who must keep long hair pulled back to avoid contaminating the food and the risk of long hair becoming caught in industrial equipment, potentially causing injury. However, one California state senator perceives a racial bias against people who wear "natural" hairstyles traditionally associated with African Americans and has introduced a bill to end this alleged form of discrimination. 

The senator claims that African Americans of all ages, both male and female, have endured workplace discrimination, including bullying and termination, on account of natural hairstyles. They have reportedly experienced denial of jobs and promotions. She also alleges that courts who have heard cases relating to complaints of hair discrimination do not recognize the adverse effect that "Eurocentric standards" of professionalism and grooming have had on African Americans in the workplace. 

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