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Sacramento Sexual Harassment Law Blog

What should I know about a hostile work environment?

Nobody wants to work in a place that is hostile; however, some employees are subjected to conditions that make the workplace hostile. While there aren't any federal laws against a hostile workplace, there are some instances in which a hostile workplace might fall under other laws.

What causes a workplace to be hostile?

The firing process and your legal protections as a whistleblower

If you notice health and safety violations at your place of employment, it could mean two things: that your rights to a safe workplace are being violated and that both state and federal laws are being broken. Knowing this, you may decide to become a whistleblower to let the government know what is going on. However, are you worried to raise the alarm because you think you'll be fired?

What you must know is that many laws are in place to protect you. You cannot be fired under federal law for being a whistleblower. Your employer may not terminate you simply for bringing attention to the violations.

What are some examples of wrongful termination?

When an employee is fired, he or she might start to wonder if the termination is legal. In some cases, termination might be illegal. The types of termination that are illegal vary greatly, but knowing them might help someone who has been terminated to determine if the termination is legal or illegal.

Is retaliatory termination legal?

How the Department of Labor offers protection for whistleblowers

The Department of Labor supports whistleblowers and offers specific protections for them in many industries. The main act that provides this protection is the Occupational Safety and Health Act, but there are also specific provisions for certain industries, such as the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) or the International Safe Container Act (ISCA).

Through these acts, the government has established that whistleblowers who report on unsafe workplaces, sexual harassment and other such issues cannot be discriminated against in the workplace simply for making these reports. They cannot be fired from their positions on those grounds. They must be treated fairly.

Whistleblowers deserve to be protected from backlash

Last week's blog post discussed how some people who were working for the Veterans' Affairs office shed light on how some paperwork was swept under the rug for years. If you recall from that blog post, one person was reassigned when she spoke up against the problem she saw in the office. That reassignment might be construed as retaliation because she opted to blow the whistle on the problem.

Whistleblowers are usually people who can't stand to see issues, misconduct and safety issues at work. These brave people opt to speak up about those problems even if means they might face backlash from it. Here's the thing: whistleblowers have protection from retaliatory measures that employers might take.

Whistleblowers shed light on troubling issue plaguing veterans

The United States and California have special protections for whistleblowers for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that the information whistleblowers provide sometimes sheds light on ways that companies or organizations are hurting people or doing things that shouldn't be done. A recent case in California shows how important it is for whistleblowers to step forward when they have information.

When a veteran wants benefits from the VA, they sometimes send in an informal claim. By law, a response has to be sent from the VA with an application. Sadly, thousands of veterans never got the response they should have received by law.

Sexual harassment in sports is common, California is no exception

Last week, we let our readers know about how Ronda Rousey is taking a stand against sexual harassment in MMA gyms. Those aren't the only gyms that sexual harassment is prevalent in. Unfortunately, many athletes face sexual harassment from coaches and other players. Our California readers might be interested to know more about this horrible trend.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education notes that any form of sexual harassment is a violation of ethical boundaries. The association further notes that sexual harassment has a significant impact on an athlete's performance in various areas, including personal performance, athletic performance and academic performance. Sexual relationships between coaches and athletes are considered unprofessional and an abuse of professional power.

Ronda Rousey fights against inappropriate actions and comments

With Ronda Rousey back in the spotlight, MMA fans might find some interesting results about a stand she is taking. Rousey has been using her fame to take a stand against alleged sexual harassment in some MMA gyms. Her stand against sexual harassment in these gyms started after she earned a spot on the American judo team that was heading to the 2008 Olympics. Our California readers might find the story interesting.

Rousey brought to light what she feels was an unfair practice by the USA's Judo governing body. Complaints against an official had been lodged by several females who say they were molested while they were teens by the man. Her complaint was that the governing body essentially turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the complaints.

Just say no to sexual harassment in California

In our entry last week, we discussed some points about quid pro quo harassment and what all it entails. Our California readers probably know by now that we don't believe in any type of harassment in the workplace. When it comes to quid pro quo harassment, some victims might be wary of speaking up because they fear the consequences. They might fear that they will be retaliated against. They might fear they will lose their job or have to take a pay cut. In all of those cases, the actions are unacceptable.

The laws in California and the federal law have specific protections in place for people who are victims of sexual harassment. No employer or representative of your employer can retaliate against you simply because you complained about sexual harassment. If they do, you have the right to take action regarding the sexual harassment and the retaliation.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment isn't acceptable in California

In our previous blog post, we discussed the case of the judge who was being accused of sexual harassment. If you remember correctly, the person accusing him said that he was giving her lavish gifts. That story might have some of our California readers wondering about what constitutes quid pro quo harassment. There are several points that our readers might find interesting.

One point is that quid pro quo harassment means that an employee is required to do something for something. In most cases, this means an employee or potential employee would have to perform sexual favors in exchange for favor on the job. That favor on the job could be a raise, a promotion or simply job security. In all those cases, the employee or potential employee was subjected to quid pro quo harassment.

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