Employers in California need to have policies to help prevent discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, and other types of harassment.
- These policies should explain what the mangers, employees, and anyone who works in the company should and shouldn’t do.
- The policies should clearly explain the rights of employees to assert any complaints without harassment.
- There should be procedures to promptly and fairly respond to any complaints.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has an Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures Guide that explains some of these policies and procedures.
NASA defines harassment as:
“Any unwelcome conduct, verbal or physical, based on an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, status as a parent, gender identity, genetic information, or retaliation… when:
- the behavior can reasonably be considered to adversely affect the work environment
(2) an employment decision affecting the employee is based upon the employee’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct.”
Types of harassment
Examples of harassment include, among others:
- Threatening someone that if they reject sexual overtures, the rejection may affect job promotions, evaluations, transfers, and appointments
- “Creating belittling caricatures or objects” that depict an identity characteristic such as their race, national origin, or religion
- Telling jokes or stories that are racial or ethnic
- Repeating comments or teasing of a worker’s disability, accent, or other protected category
- Making jokes or suggestions about a worker that are offensive
- Any lewd comments or obscene comments, slurs, suggestions, jokes, gestures, or epithets
- Making comments about a worker’s sexual characteristics or body
- Showing any sexually suggestive or nude objects, pictures, cartoons, or images
- Laughing at someone, retaliating, or ignoring an employee who complains
- “Continuing prohibited behavior after a coworker has objected.”
Generally, the conduct must be unwelcome. It is the subjective view of the recipient of the conduct that counts – not what the offender thinks.
NASA’s guide continues with policies that:
- Define how the anti-harassment process works
- States the requirements of independent contractors as opposed to employees
- Explain the difference between NASA Anti-Harassment procedures and EEO complaints
The California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates has been fighting for the rights of employees to do their job free of sexual, racial, or any type of harassment for 40 years. To discuss your legal rights to file harassment complaints, call online contact form to schedule an appointment.or fill out our
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