California Harassment Laws
California harassment laws are some of the toughest in the country. Having been a Human Resources Director in California I know know all about their harassment laws and how important it is to prevent it in the workplace. It can have a devastating impact on not only the employees involved but the entire department or company depending on how big the organization is. The California Harassment Laws on Sexual Harassment, ab 1825 that California enacted at the end of 2005 in my opinion did nothing to help the problem.
Speaking from experience I have handled several sexual harassment claims, but one stands out head and shoulders above all the others and it occurred in California long before the new AB1825 law was even considered. I was the Human Resources Director in a luxury hotel where I was responsible for all training including sexual harassment, which I conducted personally with the supervisors and regular staff. The policies we had were as sound and clear at that time and would stand up easily to what is required today.
Complete the Open Blocks to Prepare an Employee Written Warning Notice
Most sexual harassment claims can get very complicated and sorting out all the details takes great skill.
I was stunned one day when a female employee walked into my office and stated that she had been raped two days ago by her supervisor. My mouth dropped open in disbelief but I was able to gain my composure enough to ask her if she would like to have a female supervisor present. She seemed relieved and agreed she would like them there while I questioned her. Because it had been a supervisor that was involved in this case, the new California Harassment Laws, ab 1825 would not have mattered at all.
One of the main purposes of ab 1825 law is to train supervisors on how to prevent and/or identify sexual harassment in the workplace. Most sexual harassment claims can get very complicated and sorting out all the details takes great skill. Because getting at the truth is so important, you must look at the whole picture even if it appears on the surface to be clear cut. Too many new Human Resource Managers want to rush to judgment or they don’t act at all. Either way will end in a disaster.
Since employees that are involved can be emotionally damaged or worse lose their family it is so critical to understand that the truth must be sought out before making any final decisions.
The truth is the most important part anytime someone claims they have been sexually harassed. It must be handled with sensitivity yet must sort out what really happened, especially if it goes beyond the normal flirting allegations that make up most sexual harassment claims. Since employees that are involved can be emotionally damaged or worse lose their family it is so critical to understand that the truth must be sought out before making any final decisions. Although I agree with California Harassment Laws in general, ab 1825 places an importance on stopping sexual harassment, I feel there are already enough laws on the books to already do that.
There is no question about whether or not sexual harassment should be tolerated in the workplace or not, and of course it should not be! The question remains whether California Harassment Laws needed to enact ab 1825 to help with the problem. It is my opinion that more should be done to help supervisors get at the truth rather than being able to identify and/or prevent it from happening. As long as there are male and female’s there will be some type of flirting; however, when it goes too far or not welcomed it must not be tolerated.
Good Luck and May God Bless You!
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