If I work for a family owned grocery store, what can I do about sexual harassment on the job?

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If I work for a family owned grocery store, what can I do about sexual harassment on the job?

My boss started off by telling me about his sexual experiences, then it progressed into him asking me about my sexual experiences and when my first experience was. It then turned into him grabbing and hugging me from behind. These are daily occurrences. Today he asked me and a fellow female employee to kiss. When we refused he texted us that we needed to come back to his office and “perform” in front of him. I am so uncomfortable but scared to lose my job. I am 19 and he is 54. What should I do? Will getting a lawyer involved do anything?

Asked on July 20, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

This is illegal: sexual harassment at work is barred by federal law and by many states' laws, too. He has no right to do this; you have rights which are protected; and you may be entitled to monetary compensation. You could either consult with an employment law about possibly suing, and/or speak to either the federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) or your state civil/equal rights agency about filing a complaint. There is no reason to wait--speak with a lawyer or the government agency as soon as the work week starts. Do not call or communicate from employer owned or  provided phones or computers, since employers have some rights to monitor communications from their equipment.


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