Attorney Toni Jaramilla Educates California Employees on Sexual Harassment

Attorney Toni Jaramilla

Sexual harassment is often about power, especially in ‘quid pro quo’ harassment, where an employee is expected to provide sexual favors in exchange for job benefit or avoidance of job detriment.

Sexual harassment allegations have been flooding the news lately, from those made against Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey to Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, to the most recent, Matt Lauer, award-winning journalist. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is common and has been a problem well before the recent nationwide dialogue on the issue surfaced after countless women have come forward.

“Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. It is unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal (i.e. sexual jokes), physical (i.e. battery), visual (i.e. graphic sexual photos) or written conduct (i.e. text messages) of a sexual nature,” said renowned civil and workers’ rights attorney Toni Jaramilla, who was recently interviewed by CBC Player about sexual harassment in the film industry.

“Sexual harassment is often about power, especially in ‘quid pro quo’ harassment, where an employee is expected to provide sexual favors in exchange for job benefit or avoidance of job detriment.”

In order to further educate California employees on sexual harassment, Jaramilla, who was also featured in Law360 discussing how lawyers are challenging Weinstein-style contracts, lists the following three tips:

No. 1: Report the conduct in writing to management. “If you are being sexually harassed, report the conduct to HR or anyone in management in writing. Although employers are obligated to promptly investigate all reports, including verbal reports, it is best to document your report in writing so that there is a written record which shows the date and nature of your report. Once your report is made, the employer’s obligation to conduct a prompt, unbiased investigation is triggered,” stressed Jaramilla.

If the harassment rises to the level of criminal conduct like sexual assault or rape, report it to law enforcement. “Remember that the laws protect you from being retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace,” added…

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