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Reporting sexual misconduct to HR isn’t always effective

In the wake of the MeToo movement, countless industries have seen an increase in sexual harassment claims. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual misconduct complaints increased 13.6% in 2018.

People may wonder why some employees don’t bring their case to Human Resources rather than filing a complaint or going to court. That’s because some have found their HR departments to be unhelpful in these situations.

Sexual harassment claims no longer stopped by forced arbitration

Californians who have been sexually harassed on the job and believe they might have a strong legal case against their employer are often encouraged to come forward to seek justice. In many cases, they have the right to pursue a claim and be compensated. However, for some, there are contractual issues that prevent them from filing a claim regardless of the behavior they were subjected to. Forced arbitration was often used in contracts to stop workers from filing a lawsuit for sexual harassment, wage theft, discrimination and more. Now, workers dealing with these violations cannot be stopped from filing a lawsuit due to forced arbitration.

A bill signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom will stop employers from forcing workers to sign these agreements. The law goes into effect in 2020. The bill had been proposed previously, but the last administration vetoed it.

Hotels seek to curb worker sexual harassment with video cameras

Sexual harassment can occur in any kind of employment in California and across the U.S. As the increase of people willing to speak out about how they were harassed on the job has shown, these behaviors span working classes. There are, however, people who are more vulnerable to this level of mistreatment. Those in the hotel industry are especially at risk for being subjected to sexual harassment. While complaining about it might yield results, the case often hinges on evidence.

Now, many hotels are taking steps to protect workers with security through video cameras. This can be useful to those who are considering a legal filing for compensation.

Employer retaliation and harassment sparks McDonald's walkout

In California, workers in any industry can be subjected to employer retaliation, sexual harassment and other workplace violations. Some employees are more vulnerable than others and people who work in the fast food industry fall into this category. Because they are viewed as people employers might deem easily replaceable, it might be perceived as easier to disregard complaints about how fast food workers are treated. However, workers should remember they have rights and there may be recourse if they are mistreated.

According to recent reports, a group of workers at a Los Angeles McDonald's planned a walkout because of retaliation and sexual harassment. According to them, speaking out about the problems has only made it worse. This walkout is in one specific restaurant, but worker abuse has been an ongoing complaint for fast food employees. The striking workers are believed to be the second such employees to take this drastic step in the last century.

California extends sexual harassment training deadline

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation in late August extending the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline for businesses to comply with new anti-harassment training procedures for California. The order provides a one-year delay for larger companies to begin training non-supervisory employees, while smaller businesses have an extra year before they must provide training for supervisors.

However, one stipulation left intact for the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline is for companies with five or more employees to provide training for seasonal, temporary and short-term workers within the first 30 days of employment, or 100 hours worked, whichever comes first.

Workers who complained to Google claim employer retaliation

Employees in California and across the nation who are facing any workplace violations are encouraged to report it to their employer. This is a step to put a stop to the mistreatment and get the situation on the record. Still, some employers might frown upon employees who are complaining and take tacit or overt retaliatory actions. Just as sexual harassment and other illegal workplace behavior is problematic, so too is employer retaliation. People who are confronted with illegality at work in any context can benefit from having legal advice on what to do next.

A highly public attempt to shine light on the corporate culture at Google in which 20,000 workers walked out almost one year ago has resulted in many employees saying that the situation has gotten worse. A report states that workers are increasingly reluctant to report illegality at work because they were subjected to employer retaliation. A document says that 45 workers claim they were demoted, forced out or given work that is undesirable after they reported workplace issues. They say that the company is concealing and avoiding sexual harassment and other problems.

Former utility employee files lawsuit for employer retaliation

When employees of public and private businesses in California are confronted with wrongdoing at work, it can have a negative impact on their entire lives. Not only can it force them to decide that they cannot stay in that job, but it can place them in a position where they are unsure of what to do for other employment. When workers are harassed and retaliated against, it can include a variety of behaviors. In many instances, the victim is not even aware that there has been a legal violation. When confronted with workplace mistreatment, having legal assistance is essential to determine what steps to take.

A man who worked at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power claims he was retaliated against and harassed at work. He has filed a lawsuit. The man says that the behaviors included graffiti, a dead rat being placed in his truck and slurs. He had worked as a mechanic. He eventually resigned because of the abuse. He says that he was treated this way because of his gender and that there were perceptions about his sexual orientation. He was threatened with violence and being killed.

Are there time limits to file an employer retaliation complaint?

Despite renewed and increased attention paid to worker rights in California and across the nation, there is still a problem with labor violations. This can encompass many acts. One that does not receive the same focus as current concerns about sexual harassment but is also serious is employer retaliation. When an employer violates an employee's rights in this way, there are key points that the employee should remember when trying to achieve justice.

One that must be considered is the time limits to file a complaint. Consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible can yield information about these vital factors. In general, the employee who is filing a complaint about employer retaliation must do so within six months of when the incident occurred. However, there are exceptions to this rule and the person can file a complaint beyond those six months if they fall into certain categories.

Some companies try to change names to avoid employee lawsuits

Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, more businesses have been exploring their legal options to avoid getting sued by their own employees for sexual harassment. Though many companies in California have put more effort into making their workplaces safer, others have tried more underhanded methods to keep their money and their reputation.

One of these ways is giving their company a fresh new start around the time of the lawsuit. These employers figure that if the business has a new name and someone else in charge, then they can't be held liable for harassment accusations. Workers should be aware of this devious strategy and how they can overcome it.

Former cameraman for prominent TV show claims sexual harassment

The entertainment industry is largely located in Southern California and, with that, there are commonly allegations that those in a position of power commit sexual harassment on underlings and aspiring performers. It is not limited to performers, however. Staff members, crew and others can be harassed. Those who are crewmembers for an entertainment program often find themselves subjected to these behaviors. With the growing movement to put a stop to it and garner compensation in lawsuits, it is important for victims to understand their rights.

A man who served as a cameraman for the CBS TV show "Criminal Minds" has filed a lawsuit alleging that a producer and others sexually harassed him. He also says he was subjected to inappropriate and abusive treatment. Several defendants are named in the filing. The man stated that he began working on the series in 2011 and the director of photography touched him inappropriately. This happened many times while he worked there. In addition, he says the same man screamed at him, threatened his job, said he was going to be demoted and prevented him from career advancement. He says other employees were harassed and dealt with workplace violations. The sexual harassment happened approximately two or three times weekly until Oct. 2019.

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