The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) define sexual harassment as the maltreatment founded on actions that are sexual in nature. It is also considered as a form of gender harassment, and the sexuality of the harasser or job position is considered irrelevant once the case is filed in court.
In other words, the harasser can be either male or female and from any position within the place of work; at times, they could be even customers of the company.
In relation to this, one of the states with many sexual harassment complaints is the state of California. Under California employment laws, this kind of violation is strictly prohibited, yet many companies are still prosecuted in court by harassed employees. It seems that many employers are not fully informed of the laws that they are supposed to follow.
Regular workers may find an ample amount of articles regarding sexual harassment that would equip them with the proper knowledge if they were subjected to it in the future. However, there seems to be limited reading materials that cater to the owners of companies, which is rather disadvantageous to them. To help owners out, here are some of the strictly implemented law provisions that could help them in preventing the possibility of sexual harassment within their companies:
- Make all the necessary steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from taking place.
- If the harassment had already occurred, do effective actions to stop it from further happening, or correct the effects.
- Make and implement policies for sexual harassment prevention. These policies would permit employees from making complaints and for the employer to have the capability to investigate complaints. Such policies must contain these provisions:
o Inform the complainant completely regarding his or her obligations and rights.
o There should be an investigation regarding the reported acts of harassment. The probe must also be done in an objective, systematic and absolute manner. People who knew about what happened should be interviewed.
o The company owner must inform the complainant that actions were already done to stop the harassment.
o The complainant must be able to recover his or her losses after the harassment was proven.