No one is safe from harassment or discrimination in the workplace, and it can come from the people from whom you least expect it. Whenever you start a new job, you are entering into a contract with an employer. The employer expects you to do your best work and to help build the fiscal future of the company. As an employee, you expect to be compensated and acknowledged for your hard work, and to perform your duties in a healthy environment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Employee harassment can wreak havoc on your ability to work at your highest level, and can truly harm your self-esteem and lower your sense of safety. A recent case highlights the fact that workplace harassment can come from anyone. A former aid to the mayor of San Diego has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against the mayor. The lawsuit states that mayor’s comments and actions made the aid feel “ashamed, frightened, and violated”. She is not alone in her response to the mayor’s behavior. Three other former supporters have accused him of sexually harassing supporters and staff members. He has both issued a public apology and a statement denying the allegations.
As California Labor Law attorneys begin to examine the case, it will be interesting to see the fall out. One thing is certain, sexual harassment should be not be tolerated, no matter how high up on the “food chain” the harasser resides.
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees