When people go to work, they have a reasonable expectation of being treated fairly and in a manner that reinforces their safety. Certain laws exist to support those efforts and to hold employers accountable. If an employee experiences sexual harassment in the workplace, he or she has the right to pursue legal recourse against his or her employer. Two different California juries found in favor of the victims in two different sexual harassment cases this year, showing just how seriously the legal system takes these incidents.
The first case was decided back in January, where more than $11 million was awarded to two former employees of a winery. The women stated that they were fired from their jobs for complaining about workplace sexual harassment. They said that their general manager was the one who victimized them.
The other case involves a former employee of a celebrity hologram producer. She claimed that her former boss subjected her to unwanted touching and insisted that she watch pornography with him. He also allegedly hired a male stripper to entertain at an executive's birthday, which the victim felt was also a form of sexual harassment. She was awarded $11 million, but her former boss has stated that he will appeal the jury's decision.
Every employee here in California has the right to feel safe in the workplace, and sexual harassment is unacceptable. An employee has every right to speak up if it happens to try and end the behavior. If the harassment does not stop or if an employer retaliates against an employee for speaking out, that employee has the right to consult with an experienced employment law attorney, who can guide a victim through a sexual harassment and/or employer retaliation claim.