The #MeToo movement started in October, 2017, and one would think that sexual harassment would have been non-existent by the end of April. But that is not the case. It has been almost seven months since the revelations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct flooded the headlines, and even though many disgraced and awful gropers, harassers, and abusers have been ostracized (good riddance!) since then, but the problem of sexual harassment still exists.
Yes, hundreds of harassers have been exposed, fired or punished thanks to the #MeToo movement, but sexual harassment still remains prevalent in Los Angeles and all across California. Why is that? This is the question we asked our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney Matthew Kaufman.
Here at the Kaufman Law Firm, our phones are ringing off the hook with hundreds of women complaining about sexual harassment, sexism, inappropriate behavior, groping, and sexual assault in the workplace every week. Some of their stories can be difficult to listen to, and many of them seem to follow the same pattern: “I was sexually harassed at work. I complained. But nothing has changed. At all.”
And it is happening even in the post-Weinstein era, when you would think employers in Los Angeles and California would be more attentive to such a sensitive and dire issue as sexual harassment. Unfortunately, employers in California are not doing enough to protect their employers from sexual misconduct at work.
Employers in California may be saying that they have “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment in the workplace, they may be providing their employees with sexual harassment prevention training, but these efforts make little to no sense when human resources departments fail to handle and respond to sexual harassment complaints in a timely and efficient manner.
Going straight to a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer, on the other hand, can do a huge difference to bring the harasser to justice, and this will remain the most successful way to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace up until California adopts stricter anti-sexual harassment measures or employers across the state begin to take such claim seriously.
As revealed by the Sacramento Bee last November, California companies have proven themselves incapable of tracking sexual harassment cases across departments efficiently or conducting quick and thorough internal investigations into sexual harassment victims’ claims.
The biggest problem behind California’s impotency in handling sexual harassment claims effectively is, of course, bureaucracy. The lack of uniformity among departments when it comes to handling sexual harassment claims makes it nearly impossible to conduct investigations in a timely manner.
For example, look at California’s executive branch, which has nearly 230,000 employees. Each state agency or department manages its own HR complaints, while each entity assigns at least one Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officer to sort out sexual harassment claims and carry out internal investigations. More often than not, the victim has to wait long weeks or months to get a response, and there have been numerous cases when sexual harassment complaints were completely ignored.
If we really want to keep the #MeToo movement afloat and get rid of the despicable issue that has turned many workplaces into rotten, hostile environment, we must act accordingly. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment at work, do not hesitate to speak to a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney from the Kaufman Law Firm.
Do not give your HR department a chance to put your sexual harassment claim on the dusty shelves and pretend as if there was no complaint in the first place. Do not let your HR department cover up the harasser’s misconduct. Go straight to an experienced lawyer who will bring the harasser to justice.