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How must California employers prevent sexual harassment?

Los Angeles employers who turn a blind eye to reports about on-the-job misconduct are breaking California employment laws. You may know employers are not allowed to discriminate against or sexually harass workers. Some employees don't realize employers are also obligated to take preventive measures to discourage these illegal activities.

Workers have a right to know about the employment laws that protect them. Businesses must share this legal information with employees. Your employer is not in compliance if you failed to receive information about sexual harassment laws.

It's less likely employees will file complaints if employers keep workers in the dark about their rights. Therefore, the government makes sure dissemination of information about legal protections and training are part of an employer's responsibility.

There should be at least one Department of Fair Employment and Housing poster about sexual harassment in your workplace. Employers also must give employees state-approved information that explains laws, gives examples of harassment and provides details about how to file complaints.

California employers with a minimum of 50 workers also must provide regular sexual harassment training for supervisors. All supervisors must have two hours or more of sexual harassment education and refresher courses every two years. Employers have six months to conduct the initial training for new hires and workers promoted to supervisory positions.

You have a right to file complaints against employer who fail to follow these guidelines. You cannot be subjected to discrimination or harassment for making these reports, either directly to the company or to an outside agent. Any retaliatory measures taken by employers against workers, who complain or participate in employment investigations, are against the law.

Employers may be required to comply with these rules but that doesn't mean all companies do. You are well within your rights to speak with an attorney about possible employer violations or instances of discrimination, sexual harassment or other mistreatment.

Source: California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, "Fair Employment and Housing - Sexual Harassment," accessed March. 27, 2015

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