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Sacramento Legislators Speak Out Against Sexual Abuse


Sacramento Legislators Speak Out Against Sexual Abuse

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento sexual abuse lawyer. Due to the allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, a growing call for dialogue about sexual abuse in the workplace has found its way to California’s capital. Female legislators and other women of influence who work in Sacramento have said now is the time to end this long-standing dehumanization.

Hollywood’s Dilemma

Allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein have continued to mount recently as more actresses come forward, telling how they were sexually abused. This opened a gateway for women in all lines of work to speak openly about something they had long kept hidden. When actress Alyssa Milano voiced a call to all women who have been sexually abused to join in by telling their story using the hashtag #metoo, the floodgates opened on social media.

Capital Campaign

Lawmakers in the state’s capital along with staffers and lobbyists have penned a letter saying that it is time for sexual harassment to stop. The letter encourages women to come forward, share their stories and band together alongside like-minded men to move into an era of not just equality but to one without the threat of sexual harassment. The letter makes clear that, in this one area, California has not fulfilled its promise of justice for everyone. In addition to this, the women have established a website for other woman to vocalize their experiences and join together.

Male Legislators Voice Their Concerns

Male members of the legislature took the opportunity to speak out against sexual harassment and said that all employers need to mandate training efforts. Both the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tem, both male, said there is more that needs to be done to make the workplace safe. The Senate is currently in the process of reviewing their existing policy.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment in the workplace involves the demand for favors of a sexual nature or verbal and/or physical acts of a sexual nature that interfere with the person’s workplace performance, creating an atmosphere of hostility and intimidation. Sexual harassment can take the form of:

  • Inappropriate sexual jokes
  • Unwelcome touching
  • Posting offensive material on the computer or an employee board
  • Inference that either submitting to or rejecting sexual advances will have an effect on the employee’s job advancement

Federal Law

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, any form of sexual abuse in the workplace is considered sexual discrimination. In California, sexual discrimination is prohibited under state law also, and businesses with 50 employees or more must provide training against such practices. An employer is charged with providing a safe environment for employees, keeping them free of abuse or assault.

Types of Sexual Harassment

The are basically two types of sexual harassment:

  • Quid pro quo: In this form, an employer or supervisor demands that an employee go along with sexual demands if the employee wishes to maintain their position or if they want to advance or receive a promotion.
  • Hostile work environment: This type of sexual harassment happens when conduct of a sexual nature occurs even though it is unwelcome and leads to an atmosphere that is offensive.

Both forms can lead to legal claims against an employer. However, quid pro quo acts need happen only once while a hostile work environment is usually one that persists over time.

Sacramento Sexual Abuse Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento sexual abuse lawyer. Sexual abuse can take many faces, and workplace sexual abuse can be traumatic for anyone. If you have experienced sexual abuse yourself, you can call me for free and friendly advice about your options under the law. Phone me at (916) 921-6400 here in Sacramento or nearby areas and nationwide at (800) 404-5400.

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I’ve assisted clients from Sacramento and other areas in California as an injury lawyer since 1982 in a myriad of personal injury cases including sexual abuse, wrongful death and catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma.

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