Even in 2020, California workers still do not feel comfortable reporting inappropriate behavior in their workplaces. In fact, one study shows that no more than 6% of those suffering from sexual harassment formally report it. To make matters worse, fewer than 1% file criminal charges. For this reason, two companies have created apps that allow anonymous reporting, which could help victims who fear retaliation and other repercussions the ability to come forward.
It does not matter what industry Long Beach residents work in, the chance of a work environment turning hostile always exists. All workers can do is hope that their supervisors and managers do not condone discrimination or harassment of any kind. When companies fail to keep their workplaces free of things like sexual harassment or gender discrimination, the atmosphere can quickly go downhill and turn into a hostile work environment.
Women across the country rise through the ranks of the companies they work for, including many here in Long Beach. Their employers recognize them for their hard work, skills and diligence. At least some of those women believe that their days of becoming victims of sexual harassment may end at this point since they hold positions that reduce the number of people above them who may try to take advantage of their positions. However, new information indicates that may not be the case.
It would seem that certain policies and procedures that should have been in place at California-based Uber were not worth the paper they were written on. After a blog regarding the proliferation of sexual harassment within the company went viral, an investigation was launched back in 2017. As it turns out, there was merit to the claims of harassment and to allegations of retaliation against those who dared to complain.
There are several laws in place that exist to protect employees in various aspects while at work. For example, employees shouldn't have to face sexual harassment while on the job. Despite these protections, each year employees across California still have to file complaints of sexual harassment with the Department of Fair Housing and Employment. One woman recently filed such a complaint saying that she experienced sexual harassment at her job with the well-known vaping company, Juul.
Each year, numerous California residents become victims in their workplaces. The #MeToo movement brought the plight of sexual harassment victims to the forefront, and the state's legislature attempted to respond last year with new legislation, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it. Legislators tried again this year now that Gov. Gavin Newsom is in office, and he approved important changes to existing law.
Employees typically trust that when they go to work, they will be treated fairly and respectfully. While that is true in the majority of workplaces, there are some instances where that is not the case. Some workers have superiors or other co-workers who may be unfairly discriminatory or create a work environment where not every employee feels safe and welcome. Fortunately, there are laws here in California and around the country meant to give employees recourse when they encounter these situations. One out-of-state law enforcement oversight committee made the recent choice to revoke the certification of one of its sheriffs who was accused of sexual harassment.
California fans of "The Rookie" will not see one of its stars, Afton Williamson, return for the second season. She claims she was forced to endure racial discrimination and sexual harassment during the first season, and simply cannot return to the show. Feeling forced to leave a job due to these types of hostilities continues to be a common theme for women across the country.
Working women here in California may feel as though their struggle for equality is paying off. Sexual harassment claims are down thanks to initiatives such as the #MeToo movement. Sadly, some women now face another problem in the workplace -- gender discrimination and harassment.
Those who work in certain industries receive an unfair characterization from others. For instance, there is a museum on the East Coast dedicated to sex. One of the workers there says that she and others suffered through continuous sexual harassment from customers. She claims her employer did nothing about it.