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Redondo Beach California Employment Law Blog

Why you should not date your boss

Office romances are often the subject of movies and TV shows, and for good reason: They do happen in real life. Much like high school or college students tend to date other people from their schools, single workers may wind up dating each other just because they spend so much time together. It feels like it can happen naturally.

But these relationships, which are sometimes prohibited by company policies, are filled with potential issues. Some experts say that there is almost never a situation in which it is a wise move to date your boss. One expert in Business Insider warns that, among other issues, it can lead to "potential ethical violations, and the unintended and negative consequences that might happen if the relationship heads south."

Quitting your job to go out with your boss

Some companies have policies against office romances, especially between an employee and their boss. Even so, since people spend so much time together at work, these romances are common.

In one case, a worker said that they wanted to date their boss, but she told them she was going to keep her job. To go out with her boss, the employee would need to quit. While legal experts noted that it's certainly best to go to HR and find out what the company's policy looks like, this is one potential way to get around the anti-dating rules.

Harvey Weinstein maintains innocence after conviction

Nothing really defines the "me too" era like the case against film producer Harvey Weinstein. He was accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women, and his case proceeded largely in the public eye.

Weinstein faced five different counts, and he was acquitted on three of them. However, his case recently wrapped up -- at least in the initial stages -- and he was given two felony convictions. They are for third-degree rape and criminal sexual assault. The incidents happened in 2006, involving a production assistant, and in 2013, involving an aspiring actress.

Bullying doesn't stop after high school

When you think of bullying, the cliche is an older high school student bullying a younger one. And that definitely happens all over the United States, despite the onset of rules and even laws to prevent it.

But do not assume that it ends there. Workplaces have bullies, too. One study claimed that 19% of people in a survey said they had seen others get bullied at work and another 19% said that they had personally been victimized by bullying.

Defining at-will employment

At-will employment means that you can get fired for any non-illegal reason. In short, it means either side -- you or your employer -- can likely end the relationship at any time.

This is different than having a contract that you work under. The contract may state the length of your employment and the reasons you could get fired. Most workers do not have contracts, though. They just accept the at-will position and know that they could theoretically lose their job at any time.

Gender equality still has a ways to go

When it comes to gender equality in the workplace, America has come a long way over the decades. Women work far more often now than they did before, with many households having two employed parents. They have opportunities that they never had in the past and discrimination has declined.

That said, we still do have a ways to go. It's clear that discrimination still happens and that it's often harder for women than for men.

Religious discrimination takes many forms

In the United States, all workers deserve equal, fair treatment. This is true no matter how old they are, what religion they follow, what ethnicity they are or what gender they are -- just to name a few examples.

To dig a bit deeper into how this works, let's look at religious discrimination. In some cases, it's as simple as making comments about someone's religion that are insulting or belittling. In other cases, it has a direct impact on their station with the company. It could include things like:

  • Refusing to hire them based on their religion
  • Firing them after learning of their religion
  • Refusing to pay them the same amount as other workers with a different religion
  • Passing over them for promotions
  • Giving them the job assignments that no one wants
  • Refusing to give them proper training
  • Denying them time off
  • Choosing to lay them off instead of other workers
  • Not giving them the same benefits as other workers

5 sexual harassment facts from the EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the EEOC, strives to make sure that all workers have the same fair treatment in the workplace. One thing that they monitor is the presence of sexual harassment. Though illegal in the workplace, it does still happen.

To put an end to it, one must understand how and why it takes place. To that end, here are 5 facts from the EEOC about sexual harassment:

  • The conduct has to be unwelcome and unwanted by the victim.
  • Gender makes no difference. Men and women can be both victims and harassers, and it does not always happen between opposite-sex workers.
  • Even if the victim does not get fired or suffer a clear economic injury, the conduct may still be illegal.
  • Someone who is not directly getting harassed could still be a victim. For instance, they may just witness offensive conduct from afar and feel they have a hostile workplace.
  • Harassers are often supervisors, but not always. They can also be co-workers, nonemployees, agents of the company, supervisors in another department or co-workers from another department.

Document everything with sexual harassment

You're facing sexual harassment in the workplace. It happens on a regular basis. Maybe you have a boss who tries to use their position within the company to force you into a relationship. Maybe you have a coworker who constantly pesters you; you don't think they even want a relationship, but they want the power that comes with using someone else's gender against them.

You know it's wrong. You can feel it. When you tell your friends, they act astounded and appalled. You know you want to take action.

Gender discrimination common in the medical profession

For doctors, nurses and others working in the medical field, the reality is that gender discrimination still exists. It does not matter that outright discrimination is illegal and that gender is a protected class. It appears that it still happens, and it can hold women back.

A recent study investigated two different ways that this impacts female medical workers. First, they were simply asked if they had experienced this type of discrimination. The majority responded that they had.

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It can be hard to take the first steps in these cases when your livelihood is at stake, but know that you have rights available to you. Let us help you determine what you can do to bring an end to your employer's unlawful behavior.