Many people think they could identify sexual harassment in the workplace, but they might not fully understand the scope of this abuse. Moreover, they might not understand how far protection against sexual harassment in the workplace goes, which may lead one to suffer a hostile working environment. In fact, employees are protected against sexual harassment in the workplace and allowed by law to pursue compensation if they are harassed. Victims are also able to pursue compensation if their employer doesn’t make an adequate effort to protect employees from sexual harassment.
A teacher at Serra High in California is currently suing San Francisco’s Roman Catholic Diocese for compensation for the sexual harassment she reported suffering while teaching at a Diocese school. The teacher claims that sexually explicit graffiti pertaining to her was found in the boys’ bathroom, but the situation was not treated seriously. Later the same year, sexually explicit tweets were discovered about the teacher, which the administration allegedly did nothing about.
According to the victim, only after she notified the school of her intentions to contact police did the school take serious action, expelling six students and suspending six more. One of the students claimed that the abusive practices were long-standing on campus, and that students who could get sexually explicit pictures of a teacher were held in very high regard amongst their peers. This statement was reinforced by claims that an English teacher’s buttocks was photographed in the 2007-08 school year, and that a student was also caught photographing up a Spanish teacher’s skirt a year later.
Even if employers are not sexually harassing their employees, they have a legal obligation to protect them from sexual harassment of any kind. If you are being sexually harassed and your employer is negligent regarding the matter, you may be entitled to compensation.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Serra High lawsuit: Catholic school boys competed for up-skirt photos of female teachers,” Matthias Gafni, May 15, 2014