Some people in New York who face sexual harassment at work might find that if they attempt to go through the standard employer resolution process, the company might be more focused on protecting itself than on preventing the harassment. Many companies do not have clear policies in place to deal with sexual harassment. At worst, some companies' arbitration systems might even prevent employees from taking a case to court.
New York residents who rely on ride-share companies to get around town may be interested to learn why a sexual harassment claim made by a former female software engineer managed to cause Uber to have so much backlash. The company has had other issues in the past, including a driver protest over the wages, accusations of customers being sexually assaulted by drivers and the CEO's involvement on the Trump advisory team.
New Yorkers are sometimes the victims of sexual harassment and discrimination at their workplaces. A class action claim involving more than 69,000 workers in a private arbitration against Sterling Jewelry Co. demonstrates how pervasive sexual harassment and discrimination can be in some workplace cultures.
New York employees may be interested to learn that Sterling Jewelers Inc., a company that operates a number of mall jewelry stores, was accused of fostering a work environment full of sexual discrimination and harassment. Approximately 69,000 current and former female employees of the company are reportedly involved in the class-action arbitration case.
New York residents may have heard about a charge of pervasive harassment levied against Tesla. The employee who filed the charge now works in the company's purchasing department after spending time as a manufacturing engineer in the general assembly department. She claims that she was told that to advance in the company, she would have to meet standards that male employees were not held to.
New York residents who rely on Uber to get around town may be interested in learning that on Feb. 20, the company's CEO instructed the chief human resources officer to look into claims of sexual harassment put forth by a former Uber engineer. The former engineer claimed in a blog that her manager used the company chat to proposition her.
New York readers may be interested to learn that Uber's CEO has ordered an "urgent investigation" after a former employee publicly accused the company of sexual harassment. The order came just hours after the employee published a blog post on Feb. 19 detailing the alleged discrimination.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real problem for many New York employees. When a person is harassed at work by a colleague, they often have several options for reporting the incident and can be protected from reprisal by the employee or employer. This situation becomes more complicated when the harasser is an outside contractor or client that the employee must work with in order to complete a job.
The information age has opened up new opportunities for businesses in New York and around the country, but it has also created a number of potentially thorny legal problems for employers. Many companies rely on e-mail and social media for business communications and to engage with their customers, but failing to adequately protect workers from inappropriate online content can leave employers vulnerable to harassment complaints and lawsuits.
New York residents should know that sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While most companies will tell employees to speak up about sexual harassment if it happens, such policies are often more about helping a business avoid a costly or damaging lawsuit as opposed to looking out for the interests of the employee. Retaliation for filing a sexual harassment claim is also illegal; however, it may occur in more subtle ways after an employee comes forward.