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California employers must investigate all sexual harassment reports

Victims of sexual harassment in California work environments often feel abandoned by the law. To them, it seems as if no piece of legislature provides them with protection from offensive and unwanted behaviors in the workplace. While this blog has already discussed how state lawmakers work to rectify these issues for employers, it is always wise to learn more.

In this post, you will learn about an employer’s investigative responsibilities after receiving a report of sexual harassment. This information comes directly from the California Chamber of Commerce’s advocacy web page.

Employers in the state are required by law to investigate anytime a worker reports sexual harassment. The investigation must be more than simply listening to one side of the story. Employers must uncover what happened during the incident and then reach a conclusion based on what the investigation revealed. They must also decide if corrective steps are necessary and then put them into place if that is the proper course of action.

As you might imagine, confidentiality is a major issue when investigating sexual harassment reports. Victims nearly always wish to remain as anonymous as possible as do witnesses and the alleged harasser. However, the harasser also has rights so any investigation an employer conducts must give this person a full and fair opportunity to respond to the complaint. Unfortunately, confidentiality might be compromised for some in the interests of performing a proper investigation.

State lawmakers want to end sexual harassment, but it is a goal that may never be fully achieved. You can do your part to help by always reporting unwanted and offensive workplace behaviors. If you feel that your employer has not conducted a thorough investigation, you can turn to a trained and experienced lawyer for further assistance. Together, you and your legal counsel can make your workplace better for you and your coworkers.


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