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December 2019 Archives

Millions of American workers affected by sexual harassment

While media attention has shed a light on sexual harassment and abuse in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere, employees continue to suffer from harassment and unwanted sexual attention on the job. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, almost 1 out of every 18 women and 1 out of every 40 men has been subjected to sexual harassment in and around their workplaces. These statistics mean that around 10 million Americans could report some form of unwanted sexual contact, harassment or physical sexual assault by a supervisor, client, co-worker or boss, according to researchers.

Airline sued over pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination

Employers in California and around the country are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant women by the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and protections for breastfeeding mothers were added to the Fair Labor Standards Act in 2010. A lawsuit recently filed by a group of female flight attendants and pilots accuses Frontier Airlines of violating these laws. The women say that they were forced to take unpaid leave while they were pregnant and were denied reasonable breastfeeding accommodations.

Victims sometimes must work with their harassers

Despite state and federal laws designed to ensure safe working environments and address harassment in the workplace, it is possible that some people in California will have to endure continuing to work with their harassers. In a study that examined 60 arbitration cases where individuals who were accused of harassing behavior challenged the decisions of the employer, the discipline originally ordered was not upheld in 48% of cases. Most of the time, the discipline originally ordered was termination.

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