Sexual harassment has gone in recent decades from an expected imposition to an unacceptable issue in the workplace. Smart employers and managers now acknowledge that women, minorities and other protected groups deserve equal treatment and freedom from inappropriate behavior. But the struggle remains real for thousands of workers in California and elsewhere in the nation.
Employers may be liable for environments of sexual harassment even when they are not personally responsible for bad behavior. People and organizations responsible for workplaces in general must create and maintain expectations in which employees feel secure from sexual harassment and safe to report instances of it.
A high school teacher with 15 years’ experience reported a culture of sexual harassment and crude behavior by students to her school’s board of trustees, who have reportedly done little to prevent it. This workplace atmosphere has affected other women who have complained of similar issues at the same school district.
Inappropriate actions by students include stalking, bully behavior, defamation in slander as well as forms of sexual harassment that would also be reported in all-adult workplaces. The teacher also reported inappropriate touching and false accusations of sexual advances.
The teacher referred to the district’s environment as a “district-wide negligence problem.” A lawsuit may help change a company’s or institution’s approach to preventing sexual harassment, especially if it requires rule changes that encourage a better atmosphere for protected groups.
An attorney can help victims of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior challenge the people responsible. The result may be compensatory damages, a guarantee to address institutional problems or both.
Source: Splinter News, “California High School Teacher Alleges Years of Sexual Harassment By Students,” Morgan Baskin, Feb. 13, 2018