She alleged that soon thereafter, Samson retaliated against her by changing the terms of her employment.
Chan informed Samson that she was planning on filing formal charges of sexual harassment and retaliation with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DEFH”) and state court.
Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), it is unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to different terms and conditions of employment because of the employee’s sex. The first type is “Quid pro quo” harassment, which occurs when submission to sexual conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a condition of a job, a job benefit, or the absence of a job detriment.
The second type is a “hostile work environment,” in which an individual must show: (1) he or she was subjected to conduct of a harassing nature because of his or her sex; (2) the conduct was both subjectively and objectively unwelcome; and (3) the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the employee’s working environment so as to create an abusive working environment.
Employers can seek the affected employees’ preferences for reassignment or use objective standards such as personnel rules, memorandum of understanding policies, or seniority to determine where to reassign the employees.
People spend a lot of time at work and even more time at office lunches and happy hours, so it is not uncommon for workplace relationships to evolve into intimate relationships. When romantic relationships enter the workplace, the relationship is no longer just between two people, but can affect coworkers, supervisors, and the public.
Sexual favoritism is favoritism shown by supervisors to employees who are the supervisors’ sexual partners.
(Third party employees who are not involved in the relationship may be motivated to bring claims of sexual favoritism if they see a coworker receive job benefits as a result of being intimately involved with a supervisor.
Federal and state laws, as well as the California Constitution, generally prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on marital status.
Anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policies, however, are permissible.