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Hostile work environments aren't acceptable in California

Last week, we discussed the recent ruling that found Domino's Pizza wasn't liable for the sexual harassment that occurred at a franchised location. As we discussed, the worker was subjected to a hostile work environment at the hands of her manager. This might have some people wondering exactly what they can do if they are being subjected to a hostile work environment.

For people who are the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, making complaints and filing lawsuits are possible. It is vital that those who are experiencing these types of situations learn their rights and responsibilities under California laws to determine if the situation is being handled appropriately.

California court finds Domino's not liable for sexual harassment

Employees count on employers to keep the workplace free from harassment of all types. In the case of businesses that are part of a franchise, determining who is at fault when harassment occurs is something that can be complex. In a recent case, the California Supreme Court has drawn a line that let those involved in the case know exactly whom to hold responsible for the sexual harassment that allegedly occurred there.

The case has to do with the manager of a Domino's Pizza location sexually harassing a young employee. The sexual harassment claims have to do with a location that is a franchised location instead of a store that is controlled by Domino's Pizza LLC. In response to the allegation, a Domino's area leader instructed the owner of the location to fire the man who was being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Protections for whistleblowers in California

In the state of California, the government wants people to become whistleblowers if they see something that is out of line with the law. For example, the employees may work for companies that are breaking the law in some of their practices, or an employer may come directly to these employees and ask them to do something that they know is not legal.

In order to encourage whistleblowers to act without fear if they know that something is wrong, the state has set laws and regulations in place to protect them. This goes for all employees who work in either the public sector or the private sector. On top of that, these protections are extended to people who are employed by their county, their city or by the state itself.

What is wrongful termination in California?

Some people think that if you get fired from a job in California, 0you don't have any recourse possible against the employer. While that is true in some cases because of the at-will relationship between employers and employees, there are some instances in which being fired would fall under the legal umbrella of wrongful termination. Knowing some basic facts about wrongful termination might help you to determine if your being relieved of your position was legal or illegal.

Can I be fired for making a complaint about discrimination?

Retaliation isn't always clear cut in California

Going to work is something that you should do without the fear of being harassed by coworkers or supervisors in any manner; however, for some employees, that isn't how things go. Sadly, some supervisors and coworkers might opt to harass you because of a variety of reasons. That harassment, however, isn't legal. You do have the right in California to take action against employers who take action against you because of reporting harassment.

Some employers choose to retaliate against employees who report harassment in the workplace. In some cases, the retaliation might be for other reasons, such as reporting illegal or unethical activities in the workplace. When that type of retaliation occurs, you might end up losing your job, being demoted or given a pay cut. None of those actions are legal when they are done in a retaliatory manner.

New bill addresses harassment in California's farming industry

There have been issues for a time now with sexual harassment in California, specifically in the industry of farming. A new bill has been created to address the problem, and it is close to being signed into law. The bill is known as SB 1087.

The bill would work in conjunction with the Farm Labor Contractor Act, serving as an amendment to that act. Under it, contractors and employees in the farming industry would need to go through special training aimed at preventing sexual harassment.

Women in building trades face sexual harassment in the workplace

The role that women play in many industries has shifted massively over the years, giving them more opportunities than ever before. However, recent reports indicate that there are still a number of jobs in which women struggle both to get jobs and to keep them. For instance, the building trades are not nearly as open to women as many other jobs.

For one thing, some women have reported that they were not able to get hired in the first place, all on the grounds of their gender. Some were even told that the reason for their not being hired was that they were not male.

Petaluma receives sexual harassment claim from firefighter

The City of Petaluma might soon find itself in the middle of a court battle over the sexual harassment of a female firefighter. The woman, who was the first female firefighter in the department in over 30 years, says that she had to deal with crude comments about her body. The woman has since resigned but has retained a lawyer for her case.

When she was hired in 2008, the fire department made certain accommodations to try to make it easier for the woman to live in the all-male firehouse. Curtains were put around her bunk and locks were put on the bathroom doors. Some say that those accommodations weren't sufficient because the woman still had to hear her colleagues making comments of a sexual nature about her body while she would change in her bunk.

Types of sexual harassment in the workplace

When you think of sexual harassment in the workplace, your thoughts might automatically go toward someone who is being groped or touched. That, however, is only one form of sexual harassment that is against the law in California. According to the Fair Employment and Housing Act, sexual harassment includes a variety of forms.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is one form of sexual harassment that doesn't get that much attention. This form of sexual harassment means that a worker is offered extra benefits if they do sexual favors for someone. It can also mean responding in a positive manner to sexual advances that come from someone who has a position of authority over you.

Are interns protected from sexual harassment in the workplace?

Many organizations use interns who are not paid for their time or their services. Often, these organizations are corporations who are allowing interns to work for them as part of their college courses; studies have shown that roughly 50 percent of college graduates have also done internships. On top of that, colleges themselves will often offer internships to their students without pay. For example, this is done at Arizona State University.

One of the potential issues with interns is that they may not have all of the same protections from discrimination, sexual harassment and the like that employees would get. The Civil Rights Act only protects actual employees who are paid, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also only focuses on paid workers.

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