This guide is intended to assist employers in developing an effective anti-harassment program, including information about how to properly investigate reports of harassment and understand what recourse is available. The guide addresses all forms of workplace harassment, including harassment based on sex.
Specifically, the guide provides employers with information regarding the particular components for an effective anti-harassment program in the workplace. The DFEH also gives employers step-by-step guidance for how to properly handle harassment complaints and any resulting investigations. The guide discusses topics such as confidentiality during the investigation, the timeliness of an investigation, and investigator qualifications and training.
The guide also addresses what employers should do in unusual situations, such as: While some of these tips may seem intuitive, this guide is a good refresher for even the savviest of employers. In conjunction with the guide, the DFEH also released an easy-to-follow brochure and corresponding poster specifically addressing sexual harassment, which employers can provide to their employees, in compliance with California Government Code section b.
The brochure and poster echo many of the same tips as the guide, but focus solely on sexual harassment. Employers should utilize these DFEH resources when investigating and responding to claims of harassment made in the workplace.
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana , Kimberly Hively, a lesbian part-time professor at Ivy Tech, applied for but was denied several full-time positions with the college.
After her employment was later terminated, she filed a lawsuit alleging that she was denied promotion and then terminated because of her sexual orientation. The lower courts held that they were bound by Seventh Circuit precedent to rule that sexual orientation was not a protected category under Title VII.
On July 28, , a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit held that sexual orientation discrimination is not sex discrimination. The Seventh Circuit agreed to hear the case en banc with all 11 judges. Deviating from almost every other circuit court, the Seventh Circuit voted that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination. In March, the Eleventh Circuit held in Evans v.
Georgia Regional Hospital, et al. Later in the month, the Second Circuit reached a similar conclusion in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, et al. Vinson sexual harassment is discrimination on the basis of sex , Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins sex stereotyping is discrimination on the basis of sex , and Onacle v.
Under each theory, the court reduced each inquiry to a simple question — if the employee in question were male instead of female, would it matter that the employee was in a relationship with a woman? Answering that if the sex of a plaintiff such as Hively in a lesbian relationship was changed, then the outcome would be different, the Court held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily is discrimination on the basis of sex.
Ivy Tech has released a statement that it does not intend to appeal. When this issue does reach the Supreme Court, the soon-to-be-confirmed Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch could render an impactful vote should this reach the highest court.