Workers across California expect and deserve safe work environments. While this means they should be provided with appropriate equipment and training to shield them from injuries, it also means ensuring that workplace discrimination and harassment is prevented and stopped. Yet, far too often inappropriate actions in the workplace leave workers exposed to maltreatment, and reporting such acts tends to lead to retaliation.
To see an example, just look at a recent class action lawsuit filed against fast food giant McDonalds. There, several women have come forward alleging that they have been subjected to ongoing sexual harassment and retaliation after filing complaints. The two women who filed the claim on their own behalf, as well as that of 5,000 other women, say that inappropriate comments were made about their bodies, they were inappropriately touched by a coworker, and they were sent sexually explicit images by a coworker. According to their claim, their hours were cut and one was eventually fired after complaining about the harassment.
The lawsuit alleges that McDonalds suffers from systemic sexual harassment and that there has been a lack of action to address the issue. McDonalds, of course, denies that it has failed to act.
Although this case is ongoing and the outcome is yet to be seen, it highlights the importance of sexual harassment cases. While sexual harassment can certainly cause emotional damage, retaliation directly related to complaints of sexual harassment can have a devastating financial impact on individual workers. It can be scary to take legal action against an employer, too. After all, while success may mean the recovery of compensation, it could also mean reinstatement to one’s position. This, of course, can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t prevent you from seeking legal recourse when you’ve been harassed or discriminated against in the workplace.
Instead, be brave like these McDonalds workers. After all, without action, nothing will change. By working with a competent legal professional, you might be able to increase your chances of finding accountability and recovering the damages you deserve.