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US judicial system to review policies regarding sexual harassment

As numerous news stories have shown, no occupation is free from the potential of employees facing unwanted behaviors. Though most companies and places of employment have policies in place for dealing with sexual harassment, those policies may not be enough to protect workers. As a result, many individuals end up facing harassment on the job, which can have lasting impacts.

New York residents may find it interesting that even the U.S. court system is in line to review its sexual harassment policies and response practices. In recent news, a federal Circuit Court of Appeals judge sitting in another state retired from his position amid allegations of sexual harassment. These allegations came from over a dozen women who claim he groped them and showed them pornographic material.

Low-wage workers often face sexual harassment

When a serious issue begins garnering the attention it deserves, many people -- including New York residents -- may feel a sense of justice and accomplishment. Over the past several weeks, sexual harassment in the workplace has obtained copious amounts of attention. As a result, numerous alleged high-profile harassers and victims have seen a wave of changes in the entertainment industry. While this attention may allow for movement in a positive direction, what about individuals in low-wage situations?

Many individuals in low-wage jobs may not receive the same ready action to their complaints of harassment. One woman gave her account of being harassed and later raped by a supervisor while on the job. It took months for her to work up the courage to report the incident, and after she did, she was fired from her job.

Big changes are coming to New York's FMLA

In case you haven't heard, if you work for one of the many private employers in New York's boroughs, you could be paid at least a portion of your wages while you are out on family leave. Earlier in 2017, legislators passed a law that requires private employers (public employers have the option to opt in) to begin offering employees this opportunity beginning on Jan. 1, 2018.

Your employer must guarantee that you will have your job (or a comparable one) when you return from Paid Family Leave, and you can continue to make use of your health insurance. Of course, you will need to continue paying your portion of the premiums while you are not working. So, how does this new program work? Keep reading.

Some companies taking quicker action for sexual harassment claims

As more and more individuals come forward as victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace, many other people may find themselves feeling the courage to do the same. Reporting sexual harassment can be difficult for a number of reasons, but New York residents may want to remember that they do not have to stand quietly and accept mistreatment. Filing a report with superiors may be a beneficial first step.

Recent reports indicate that the wave of sexual harassment reports have caused many companies to change the way they approach such complaints. Previously, a claim of sexual misconduct may have taken months to be addressed by superiors, but now, many employers are choosing to take swifter action. Of course, this change may be in hopes of keeping the company's reputation in tact because they do not want other outlets to report on such wrongdoing first.

Higher-ups do not always address sexual harassment properly

Dealing with any type of harassment in any environment can be difficult. When the scenario involves sexual harassment in the workplace, it may seem even more appalling that such acts are occurring in a place that should promote professionalism. Unfortunately, as too many New York residents already know, this type of situation is not uncommon.

When attempting to handle this type of harassment, it may seem difficult to find the right course of action. Though speaking with a supervisor, manager or human resources representative should be the right first step, the follow-up advice may not have the desired impacts. One woman stated that after suffering sexual harassment, her boss and HR rep told her to speak with her harasser "face-to-face." However, this action did not stop the harassment, and she endured more over the next few years.

Tech founders face issues with workplace sexual harassment

Each person certainly has conditions that cause him or her to feel uncomfortable. Any type of undesired behaviors directed at people can easily cause discomfort and sometimes fear. Unwanted sexual advances can often result in these feelings, and unfortunately, sexual harassment rampantly leads employees to feel unsafe in their workplaces.

New York residents may be interested in a recent study that addressed sexual harassment in the technology industry. Tech founders were asked multiple-choice questions regarding this type of harassment. The first question was in regards to whether the founders themselves had been harassed or knew someone who had. The results showed that 78 percent of female founders answered yes to the question while 48 percent of male founders also answered yes.

Sexual harassment claims leveled against journalist Charlie Rose

When a person makes unwanted sexual advances toward another individual, it can make the victim feel unsafe. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not uncommon, and it can -- and often does -- happen in the workplace. When instances of sexual harassment on the job are not properly addressed, negatively affected New York residents may have cause to pursue legal action.

Multiple news outlets continue to report on the various instances of sexual misconduct that have occurred throughout the entertainment industry. One recent report discussed the incidents involving TV host and journalist Charlie Rose. According to reports, eight women have come forward to say that Rose made unsolicited sexual advances toward them between the late 1990s and up to 2011. The actions he allegedly carried out included inappropriate physical contact and displays of nudity.

New paid leave policy may bring relief to New York families

If you can't afford to take off work, you are in the same boat with many in New York. This is why you dread getting sick or when someone in your family falls ill. However, it may be that a situation is imminent, and you will have to take some time to get your family through it. It could be something tragic like the terminal illness of a loved one or joyous like the impending birth or adoption of a child.

Until recently, you would have to bite the bullet and take time off without pay. Your only other option was being away from your family when they need you most. Of course, if you are the one needing time off, you may be wondering how your family will survive financially.

Whistleblowers may be compensated under Federal False Claims Act

When a company fails to properly handle its financial obligations, a myriad of issues could arise. In cases where companies cause the federal government to cover costs that the companies themselves should have paid, they may be violating the law. The Federal False Claims Act holds companies responsible for defrauding governmental programs. If an individual believes that a company is carrying out this type of fraud, that person may file a claim.

New York residents may be interested in such a case that recently came to a settlement in another state. Reports indicated that a whistleblower had claimed that two Progressive insurance companies had been carrying out actions that resulted in Medicare and Medicaid covering payments that the Progressive insurance companies themselves should have been paying. The situation arose because the companies had a "health first" policy that allowed policyholders to name Medicare or Medicaid as primary payers for insurance claims.

Employment discrimination may give grounds for legal action

Discriminatory acts in any type of situation are typically deplorable. Some individuals may choose to treat other parties differently and unfairly simply due to race, gender, disability or other factors without cause. In particular, employment discrimination can have damaging effects, and New York residents who have found themselves in such a situation may wonder what to do about it.

One woman in another state chose to take legal steps after facing discrimination at her place of employment. Reports stated that the woman works for a community development department as a structural engineer. She stated that while attempting to carry out her work-related duties, she was forced to meet a higher set of standards during her work presentations. She also described those standards as being arbitrary.

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