Reasonable steps to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring include : 1) affirmatively raising the issue of harassment; 2) expressing strong disapproval of harassment; 3) developing appropriate sanctions against harassment; 4) informing employees of their rights and instructing them to report harassment, 2 California Code of Regulations 7287.6(b)(2)-(3).
Appropriate corrective action is some form of discipline, however mild, that contributes or eliminates the problem at hand, Intlekofer at 778. If the employer fails to take even the mildest form of discriminatory action the remedy is insufficient, Ellison, 924 F.2d 882. Action is corrective only if it contributes to the elimination of the problem at hand. Disciplinary measures are more likely to decrease the likelihood of repeated harassment than a mere request to stop the behavior, and so discipline is what a corrective action is, Intlekofer at 778.
The mere presence of an employee who has engaged in particularly severe or pervasive harassment can create a hostile working environment…To avoid liability….for failing to remedy a hostile environment, employers may even have to remove employees from the workplace if their mere presence would render the working environment hostile…When employers cannot schedule harasser to work at another location or during different hours, employers may have to dismiss employees whose mere presence creates a hostile environment, Ellison v. Brady, 924 F.2d 872, 883 (9th Cir. 1991).
Bradley v. Dept. of Corrections, 71 Cal.Rptr.3d 222 (2008) requires that the employer’s sexual harassment investigator must understand, and the investigation must ultimately, be aimed at 1) determining fault; 2) ensuring the claimant is safe from harassment; 3) to determine what steps are needed to stop the harassment, Id. Merely listening to the claimant is not enough, Id.
Employees who are fired for complaining of sexual harassment, or due to their participation in a sexual harassment investigation, may sue under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for the loss of in a their employment, California Government Code Section 12940(h).
Do not hold back facts if you are making a sexual harassment complaint. Provide as much information as possible, or you will later be accused of not mentioning a critical aspect of the sexual harassment that was perpetrated.
If you are involved sexual harassment investigation, be careful about naming witnesses. If you are not sure if somebody saw something, do not claim they are a witness. If there are witnesses who are ex-employees or family members be sure to tell the employer about these people, and offer access to any non-employees you have contact information for but your employer may not.
Contact us, or call 1-877-525-0700 toll free to consult with an Employment Lawyers Group sexual harassment lawyer, supervised by Karl Gerber who will be the lead attorney on your case.