Women in Hollywood, California have given a voice to mistreated workers across the country by publicly accusing the powerful men who abused them early in their careers. However, just as the #metoo and #timesup movements began to settle down, a new accusation has come to light. While women in the motion picture industry work for changes that allow them to build careers without having to submit to sexual harassment, an investigation has opened against the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Working in a hostile environment has been known to cause an employee negative consequences, both emotionally and physically. Hostile work environments can range from subtle bullying, discrimination or wrongful termination. For some California employees, the reasons for the harassment or discrimination may be unknown, and the workers may have a difficult time understand why co-workers or employees mistreat them. Other workers are able to trace the abuse back to a particular action, often the act of whistleblowing.
In California and across the country, the question of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation has been debated between workers and employers for years. It is true that accommodating workers who have disabilities or medical conditions can be costly to employers. However, by not attempting to provide alternatives for such protected employees, a business owner or manager may face a disability discrimination lawsuit. One woman who lives in another state is now seeking recompense after a well-known company refused to accommodate her.
Employees in California and elsewhere who learn of illegal or unethical practices in their companies have long been encouraged to take advantage of protections for those who report the offenses. Whistleblowers are essential in industries such as finance, and the information they provide to the Securities and Exchange Commission allows that agency to hold accountable companies responsible for handling the investments of many citizens. Whistleblowers may even be eligible for substantial rewards under certain circumstances, but in order to qualify for rewards and protections, they must follow the SEC guidelines.
Sparked by the brave women who have lately come forward to share their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace, many eyes have turned toward men who hold positions of power. Accusations directed at famous and powerful men have filled news stories in recent months. However, it may surprise many to learn that men are not the only ones facing these accusations. In fact, California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has recently taken a leave of absence following allegations from staff members of sexual misconduct.
One of the most common forms of workplace retaliation is termination. A California employee may be fired unjustly after refusing the sexual advances of a supervisor or for reporting illegal activity witnessed in the workplace. It is often difficult to prove because the employer may find ways to justify the firing, including accusing the victim of poor work performance. In another state, a complaint of wrongful termination recently ended with an out-of-court settlement.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body undergoes natural changes that may make it difficult for her to work in the same manner as before her pregnancy. For example, she may feel nauseous or need more frequent breaks to eat and stay hydrated. She may also be unable to lift heavy objects for the sake of the baby she carries. Women who become pregnant should not fear losing their jobs simply because of their pregnancies. However, employers like Walmart seem to be slow in getting this message.
When a California company or agency is conducting its business in a substandard or unethical manner, upstanding employees may feel it is their duty to reveal these conditions. This may be especially true if taxpayer money, shareholder profits or public health and safety are at stake. While acting in the public interest, these whistleblowers run the risk of losing their jobs or facing other examples of retaliation. One man who is well known for his whistleblowing has recently lost his job for the third time.
Anyone in California who has experienced the humiliation of inappropriate words or actions from a co-worker or boss understands the long-lasting effects. Whether sexual harassment is a daily experience or a horrifying, one-time event, the results are often the same. The medical community is now reporting that victims should not be expected to get over the trauma because sometimes the wounds are too deep to ignore.
The diagnosis of a disabling condition often means someone is struggling with normal routines. This may include household tasks and work-related duties. Fortunately, the law protects workers from wrongful termination due to disabilities, and California employers must abide by these laws by making reasonable accommodations for workers who suffer from certain conditions.