Sexual harassment concerns for retail and seasonal employees

Posted in Sexual Harassment,Sexual Harassment by Industry on December 18, 2014

Now that Christmas is just a week away, stores could not be busier. Many retail employees are making good money working overtime to keep up with the demand of holiday shoppers buying last-minute gifts. Major retailers also bring in seasonal workers with the understanding that their employment will only last through the end of the year.

For a lot of workers, the holiday shopping season provides great opportunities to make some extra money, either as a seasonal employee or regular employee working overtime. Unfortunately, these chaotic and temporary work environments can also create conditions that foster sexual harassment.

Employers and managers sometimes target college students and other seasonal employees for sexual harassment because they know that these workers will only be there a short time. They may be acting on the assumption that sexual harassment victims won’t file a complaint because they won’t be employed for very long anyway.

In other cases, full-time or part-time employees who pick up a lot of overtime during the holidays may be hesitant to report sexual harassment because they need the money that they can earn working overtime. They fear that if they report sexual harassment, their hours may be cut or they may be fired altogether.

The two scenarios listed above are practical concerns for employees, but the harassment in both cases is nonetheless illegal under state and federal law. Please remember that if a manager, co-worker or employer has sexually harassed you, they may be doing the same thing to other employees. Therefore, failing to report the harassment will likely affect more than just your temporary job or your overtime hours.

At Winer, McKenna, Burritt and Tillis, LLP, we understand how hard it can be to report sexual harassment. That’s why we try to make the process as easy as possible by offering free case evaluations and helping victims file complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If you have been a victim of retail worker sexual harassment, please share your story with one of our experienced sexual harassment attorneys.