The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) defines sexual harassment as unwanted sexual advances, or physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of severe, pervasive, and unwanted conduct, including, but not limited to, the following list of actions:
- Physical touching, including, touching body parts and obstructing pathways;
- Demanding sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits;
- Visual conduct, including, displaying photographs or pictures of a sexual nature and glaring;
- Verbal conduct, such as sexual jokes and suggestive comments; and
- Direct sexual advances and propositions for sex.
An Employer’s Legal Obligation to Prevent Harassment
Employers must take all steps to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace, including, but not limited to, the following actions:
- Hanging a poster in the workplace that informs employees that sexual harassment is a violation of the FEHA and employees are entitled to a harassment-free workplace;
- Distributing a brochure provided by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or developing a written policy which must inform employees of the following: the definition of sexual harassment; a description and examples of sexual harassment; internal complaint processes available to the employee; and information explaining how to contact the DFEH to file a complaint.
An Employer Must Provide Employees with Sexual Harassment Training
Employers with fifty (50) or more employees must provide a minimum of two hours of classroom or other type of training and education regarding sexual harassment to all new supervisory employees within six months of obtaining the position. Furthermore, employers must provide sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees at least once every two years.
If you are an employee that has suffered sexual harassment in the workplace and your employer has failed to prevent harassment, you should contact an experienced sexual harassment attorney. The Law Offices employs experienced sexual harassment attorneys in Los Angeles that are available to assist employees with claims of sexual harassment. Contact the firm today for your free consultation.