A Rhode Island lawmaker who herself was a victim of sexual harassment has introduced a legal measure that, if it passes, will form a group to review and study sexual harassment. Specifically, the group will examine both the most recent developments on the federal level as well as the laws and regulations of other states that are aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Rhode Island residents probably recognize that they work with different people who all have slightly different senses of humor. What might be really funny to one person may, for another person, be at best a little tasteless and, at worst, outright offensive.
No one really wants to talk to anyone about an experience in which they were sexually harassed. This victim may feel embarrassed enough about experiencing sexual harassment and, as such, it may be tough to re-hash the facts of an incident. Moreover, there is always a question of whether the people to whom the victim reports are trustworthy. If they represent the employer, it may be downright intimidating to report the harassment.
In the weeks since allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein surfaced, thousands of people have come forward with their own experiences. A number of actors and actresses have revealed accusations against powerful men in Hollywood. The recent social media campaign against sexual harassment, called Me Too, left millions around the world feeling empowered to share their own stories. Workplace sexual harassment is in the spotlight, showing just how prevalent the issue has become.
Sexual harassment is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Recent claims of sexual harassment in Rhode Island have drawn the attention of the state's Attorney General. A state representative recently spoke out about sexual harassment in the state legislature and the Rhode Island Attorney general has committed to taking action. The attorney general recently noted that he is looking into the concern.
It is illegal to engage in workplace retaliation in any form. Both state and federal laws protect employees from retaliation. Employees cannot be fired for initiating a whistleblower claim, sexual harassment claim, workplace discrimination claim or pointing out other illegal activity occurring in their workplace. There are a variety of retaliatory activities employers may engage in which are all prohibited.
If you have been asked to sign a noncompete agreement or an employment contract with a noncompete clause in it, you may wonder what it refers to. In general, a non-compete agreement is entered into before the employee begins work and takes effect once the employee ends their working relationship for that employer. An agreement not to compete is typically included in an employment contract the employee may be asked to sign.
In general, it is unlawful to harass an individual, either an applicant for a job or an employee, on the basis of that person's sex. By definition, sexual harassment can include sexual harassment, or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and verbal or physical harassment that is sexual in nature. In addition, harassment is not limited to harassment that is sexual in nature.
Understanding what sexual harassment is and some important facts about it can be helpful for victims of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and violates Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title 7 applies to employers with 15 or more employees; state and local governments; the federal government; and a few others.
Victims of workplace sexual harassment are legally protected. A former dishwasher at a national chain restaurant recently brought a lawsuit in Rhode Island alleging sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. The former dishwasher brought a claim against his former managers accusing them of discriminating against him for being a heterosexual male and allowing sexual harassment from a male coworker to continue despite being aware of it. The man asserts that the male coworker repeatedly touched him inappropriately. The man also asserts he complained about the harassment but the manager tolerated it.