Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation - Los Angeles Employment Attorney
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The right and wrong way to handle #MeToo

As previous posts here have discussed, the #MeToo movement has done a lot to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. For one, it has encouraged more people who have been victims of this form of workplace harassment to speak up and demand the justice they deserve.

However, there are some people who believe there is a right way and a wrong way for employers in California to respond to the #MeToo movement. The right way, some opine, is for employers to evaluate their own sexual harassment policies and procedures, make sure that employees have proper training and respond quickly and decisively when a worker reports sexual harassment.

Unfortunately, there are some who are responding to the #MeToo movement by simply refusing to hire women. In a recent survey, over one out of five males with hiring authority, 21%, said that they were hesitant to hire women if the position would require travel or other close collaboration with the opposite sex. Additionally, 12% of women said the same thing. Likewise, around 20% of men and 6% of women said that they would be less likely to hire a woman whom they perceived as attractive.

The emerging problem has also affected other areas aside from hiring. Another survey suggested that well over half, 60%, of managers who were men felt much less comfortable doing things like networking or mentoring a female colleague. These sorts of activities are what often lead to career advancement.

In some cases, this new reluctance to associate with women in the workplace could be illegal, as employers in the Los Angeles area are prohibited from discrimination based on gender. Women in California should not be shut out of work because of other brave workers who have insisted on being treated with dignity and respect.

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