THE STATE OF WORKPLACE HARASSMENT AND RETALIATION CLAIMS
California’s 2016 Report: Sex-Based Claims Continue to Top the List
The California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH)has published its 2016 annual report on unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation charges.
Employees filed17,041 complaints with DFEH last year, down a few hundred from the 2015 total. Many contained multiple accusations. Sex-based, retaliation, and disability grievances top the 2016 list, together comprising 59% of the total:
o Sex or gender-based accusations (1,789)
o Retaliation (1,688)
o Disability - mental and physical (1,276)
The Departmentsettled a total of 1,036 employment cases for an average $11,172.92, or $11,575,151 total. Of the 31 lawsuits the Department filed against employers last year, disability rights violation was the most common allegation.
The report underscoresthe importance for consistent application of clearly written workplace policies prohibiting all types of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Policies should also require prompt reporting and fair internal investigation procedures to resolve any such matters. See, Expanding Policy and Notice Requirements to Protect Employees (June, 2017) and Is Your Harassment Policy California Compliant? New Regulation May Require Policy Overhaul (April, 2016).
For more information,please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.
Cindy BamforthJuly 13, 2017