Articles Posted in sexual harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new. However, laws have evolved over the last several decades to include many more protections and legal causes of actions for victims. Unfortunately, it still happens, and remains a very serious problem, as we’ve seen with several high-profile accusations made against famous power players like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly.  Even our own president has been accused of such conduct. But it’s not isolated to the seedier side of show business or within wealthy circles.

Employment LawyerAccording to a recent news article from The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has just settled a claim levied by an executive involving allegations of sexual harassment at the workplace.  The employee who filed the lawsuit was formerly the director of human resources. According to his complaint, he said that during the months he worked at the company, he was regularly the target of sexual harassment and said the company has an unwritten policy of targeting such harassment and employment discrimination.  Continue reading

In mid-September, the 2017 California Legislature adjourned, having sent more than seven hundred bills to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. Governor Brown has already signed many of these bills into law. Among the new laws are several employment provisions which are generally deemed to be in favor of employees’ rights. Learn more about the new laws – which take effect on January 1, 2018 – and how they will affect your rights as an employee or obligations as an employer. 

Understanding these provisions is important to recognizing what type of legal remedy you may have in the event you suffer wrongful termination or employment discrimination.

California employment lawyers
Stronger Anti-Retaliation Laws

The allegations against Hollywood entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein have become increasingly ghastly in recent weeks. Increasingly more have come forward to report decades of harassment – and in several cases, blatant sexual assault – at his hands. The legal ramifications of this conduct are not limited to Mr. Weinstein himself. The emerging facts indicate that Weinstein Co., the executive’s famous production company which has become a pillar of the Hollywood business industry, will also be subjected to civil liability for the crimes committed by its disgraced leader.

Los Angeles employment lawyers
Employment attorneys know that such instances of sexual harassment and even sexual assault in the workplace are not isolated. They occur in all industries, at all levels of employment. The question of whether a company can be sued for sexual harassment depends on a myriad of factors, and talking with a skilled employment law attorney can help you sort through your legal options.

When Can a Company Be Liable for the Conduct of Its Workers?

Gender discrimination in the technology sector has long been a problem which female Californians have simply had to endure. The anti-diversity manifesto by a former Google engineer is just the latest in a long line of more subtle disparities in the treatment of women employed in the technology industry. Now, a proposed bill by California Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson aims to address sexual harassment in venture capital.sexual harassment attorneys

Forbes reports the bill would make an almost imperceptible change to California’s current sexual harassment statute. By adding a single word – “investor” – venture capital relationships would be added to the employment relationships which are protected from sexual harassment by the California Labor Code. Yet this single word could make a world of difference to the women who find it difficult to both access venture capital and maintain employment within the technology sector. For decades, the imbalance of power lead to “rampant harassment of women entrepreneurs”. It is only recently that media attention has shed light on the problem and inspired action on the issue. Continue reading

Sexual harassment is a problem faced by many employers. But what is less often understood is the role that company culture can play in fostering sexual harassment in the workplace – and protecting its perpetrators. Without understanding the systemic causes of sexual harassment, employers cannot adequately eradicate it within their businesses, nor protect themselves from the liability attendant to sexual harassment claims. Occupations which have been traditionally filled by a male-dominate workforce are particularly susceptible to legal claims of sexual discrimination and harassment.sexual harassment lawyers

The Technology Sector Becomes an Example of What Not to Do

Other male-dominated industries can learn from the legal and publicity problems faced by the technology sector. For years, Silicon Valley has been a microcosm of sexual harassment culture. Wired magazine describes the prevalence of sexual harassment in Silicon Valley as being an “open secret.” This open secret is a culture that has lasted for decades, and has not been changed by human resource policies, nor by extensive litigation and judgments against behemoth employers. The culture of male dominance is simply too pervasive to respond to a few settlements that pale in comparison to the massive profits of large tech companies. Continue reading

A former engineer for the ride-sharing technology service Uber wrote a scathing blog detailing numerous allegations of sexual harassment, sexism and gender discrimination at the California-based firm. woman working

Now, the company is launching an “urgent investigation” into her claims, which included allegations that her complaints to management were repeatedly dismissed. She further asserted that a repeat offending sexual harasser was protected by higher-ups with the organization and she was threatened with termination for having the gall to raise concerns in the first place. The allegations come amid longstanding complaints that women are vastly underrepresented in Silicon Valley tech jobs.

The CEO of the company now says the company will conduct an internal investigation in response to the blog post, written by an employee who was a former software programmer. She was repeatedly propositioned by her manager, she alleges, and the reports she made to the company’s human resources division were ignored.  Continue reading

A new report by Broadly indicates many females who work as professional massage therapists report experiencing constant sexual harassment – mostly from clients or prospective clients. massage

This sexual harassment can include anything form inappropriate requests to heckling to unwanted touching, usually from male clients.

Erotic massages, which are a sexual service, are illegal in the U.S., except for in licensed brothels in Nevada, where prostitution is legal. Nonetheless, several high-profile incidents of arrests for illicit massages (a form of prostitution) has led to erroneous presumptions about what these professionals do. Legitimate therapists, who studied for their position and are certified and consider themselves health professionals, are often inundated with insults, sexual rhetoric and sleazy comments. Continue reading

A blog post written by a woman detailing sexual assault by her powerful boss in an upscale bar prompted fifteen women to come forward with their own stories – about the same man. restaurant

The blog, The Reality of Sexual Assault in the Cocktail Community, details in graphic, difficult-to-read accounts, their experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the restaurant and bar industry. The homepage contains content wherein the original author explains she wants to start a dialogue about what happened, why none of them have gone public with these allegations and what can be done by women in similar situations today.

A large study conducted in 2014, The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry, revealed there are more than 11 million workers in the restaurant industry, which is one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the economy nationally. It is also the biggest source of sexual harassment complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Women are especially vulnerable in these roles, which are some of the most precarious from a financial standpoint. Approximately 70 percent of all servers are women and more than 60 percent of all tipped jobs are filled by females.  Continue reading

A sexual harassment lawsuit has been filed against a national charity employment organization and one of its affiliates, alleging the two companies failed to protect the female janitorial staff from being routinely targeted for sexual harassment by a night shift supervisor. mopping

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five workers who worked nights, most of whom were employed by the charity organization’s contractor, which hired the workers through a federal contract to employ those with disabilities. The workers in this program suffered from severe physical, mental or psychological impairments, and were working through this federally-funded program to help them become financially independent. They were assigned to clean a federal building in Oakland, CA each evening.

The supervisor is accused of inappropriate touching and leering. He is alleged to have asked intrusive questions about the women’s sex lives and made propositions to them. He once groped his genitals in front of the female janitors – and others – so often that federal building employees reportedly gave him a crude nickname. This fact alone shows that the behavior was known – or should have been known – by higher-ups. Despite this and repeated reports, the company didn’t take any effective action to help protect these vulnerable workers, according to the complaint.  Continue reading

Sexual harassment claims against the former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes ultimately cost the executive his job and resulted in a $20 million settlement with former anchor Gretchen Carlson. The allegations embroiled the company in controversy, as Greta Van Susteren, one of the longest-serving hosts, quit abruptly. Later, star Megyn Kelly, who would also come forward with claims of sexual harassment against Ailes, announced she was leaving for NBC. Kelly said she didn’t come forward sooner with her claims of harassment because to do so would have been, “Career suicide.” sad

Now, it seems that these type of incidents were part of a larger pattern, perhaps even a corporate culture, as more allegations against other executives and hosts have been revealed. Most recently, The New York Times reported, was the revelation that 21st Century Fox, which is the parent company of Fox News, quietly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by an employee against prime-time star Bill O’Reilly.

The claim was made by a female Fox broadcaster who first began working for the company in the 1990s. She worked for a time on the Fox & Friends weekend edition show, and she had a regular segment on The O’Reilly Factor. She alleges O’Reilly tried to initiate a sexual relationship with her back in 2011. However, she declined his advance, resulting in his retaliation, according to the lawsuit. Additionally, a long-time Fox News executive, now co-president of the company after Ailes’ ouster, is also accused of retaliation in the case.  Continue reading