Wednesday, December 21, 2011

California Employment Laws: Refuge for Sexual Harassment Victims


One of the most important provisions of California employment laws includes prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. The state of California had long been a center for tourism, it’s beautiful landscape and sceneries has attracted businesses. In line with this, it also paved the way for many jobs for prospective employees. However, this also becomes the haven for a lot of abusive employers and fellow employees and without the proper knowledge of the California employment laws; surely a worker is defenseless against offenses done to them.

Under the law, sexual harassment is defined as the unwelcomed sexual advances, physical and verbal conduct that is sexual in nature as well as asking for sexual favors. This creates a hostile working environment that in the long term would affect employees.

Sexual harassment has evolved through the years. From the past where a male harasses a female, now some claims include premises where the harasser is the opposite. To compensate for the changing times, the definition of sexual harassment indicates that the action done against the employee would be the one to determine if there was a case to be filed. It means that the sexes of the people involved would not matter as well as their position within the company.

There are certain indications to show that this form of offense has occurred or was currently being experienced and these include the following:

  • Visual
  • Verbal or written
  • Non-verbal
  • Physical

Any employee who experiences maltreatment should seek refuge from the provisions under the California employment laws with the help of an attorney. These workers should take note that the harassment being done could further lead to a more aggravating situation such as rape. Further, this violates the basic laws that aim to uphold the rights of people. No one could force anybody to do things they do not like. If the said co-worker or employer seems to be using the fear of any employee in losing their job that means a solid premise that should be filed in court to put these abusive people behind bars.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

English-only Policy in the Workplace: Filing Complaint with California DFEH and EEOC

Employers doing business in California should be aware of the questions they cannot ask to applicants during hiring process. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), there are particular questions an employer cannot ask when interviewing a job applicant.

Inappropriate Questions during Hiring Process:

1. Do you have any disabling physical or mental condition that may prevent you from doing work duties?

This kind of question may be in violation of FEHA and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to the fact that it may discriminate applicants with disabilities.

2. Are you single or married?

Harmless it may seem, but this question may result into discriminatory employment reaction by the employer. Aside from the fact that marital status discrimination is against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, such question is also not relevant to learning an applicant’s skills or abilities.

3. Do your family members have history of having health complications?

Under Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees and applicants based on their family medical history and genetics, and such question may be in violation of the Act.

4. Do you belong to a particular to a particular ethnic group?

This question is in violation of Title VII with respect to anti-national origin discrimination clause. Furthermore, such question bears no relevance in knowing an applicant’s qualification.