Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), it is unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to different terms and conditions of employment because of the employee’s sex. The first type is “Quid pro quo” harassment, which occurs when submission to sexual conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a condition of a job, a job benefit, or the absence of a job detriment.
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She alleged that soon thereafter, Samson retaliated against her by changing the terms of her employment.
Chan informed Samson that she was planning on filing formal charges of sexual harassment and retaliation with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DEFH”) and state court.
Samson ended up settling with Chan for $50,000 and a favorable letter of recommendation.
With Valentine’s Day just behind us, cupid may have left a few arrows in the workplace. workforce study found that 37 percent of workers have dated a coworker at some point in their career.
People spend a lot of time at work and even more time at office lunches and happy hours, so it is not uncommon for workplace relationships to evolve into intimate relationships. When romantic relationships enter the workplace, the relationship is no longer just between two people, but can affect coworkers, supervisors, and the public.
While the idea of having an office sweetheart may boost some employees’ morale, romantic relationships in the workplace can create employee dissension and legal liability for employers.
Relationships Between Supervisors and Subordinates While any relationship between employees may cause problems in the workplace, the level of exposure to employers increases when a romantic relationship develops between a supervisor and subordinate.
Such relationships can have actual and resonating effects on the workplace because of the power inequalities in the positions and the insecurity the relationship may create for other employees, especially those who report to the supervisor.
In one case, the Eleventh Circuit found that a public employer’s interest in discouraging intimate association between supervisors and subordinates was so critical to the effective functioning of the employer that it outweighed the employee’s interest in the relationship.
() Indeed, relationships that begin as consensual between supervisors and subordinates may later form the basis of a lawsuit.
Sexual Harassment If employers do not take swift, proper action upon discovering a romantic workplace relationship, they may be faced with claims of sexual harassment.