Recent Changes to Laws Regarding Sexual Abuse in Delaware
In Early January of 2019, a new sexual harassment law was put into effect in Delaware, referred to as HB 360. The original Delaware Discrimination and Employment Act (DDEA) was put into place to prevent discrimination from occurring based on a person’s gender, but it lacked any proper references to stopping sexual harassment in the state.
The relatively new HB 360 law adds provisions to the DDEA addressing the issue of sexual harassment and how it should be dealt with. Sexual harassment is illegal and is considered criminal behavior. If a person is faced with sexual advances at work in which their job may be jeopardized if they fail to comply with the terms- whether implicit or explicit- they are being sexually harassed and should notify the authorities as soon as possible.
If the employer is basing their work-based decisions on the victim’s submission to their harassment, then this is also considered illegal and if the harassment is interfering with their work performance or creating a hostile or work environment or an offensive work environment then the acts are considered sexual harassment and the abuser can be legally penalized for their actions.
Thanks to this law, sexual harassment is now considered a form of sex discrimination and it is completely illegal. Anyone who is found undertaking such actions, or even saying words that come under this category can be penalized severely for their actions. Every employer must make sure their employees are in a safe environment and if any employee is being abused, they should connect with a sexual harassment lawyer to learn more about their rights and to get advice on what their next course of action should be to stop the abuse immediately.
The new law also compels employers who have more than 50 employees to provide proper training that will prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the workplace. Employers are also required to distribute information sheets regarding the illegal nature of sexual harassment to all their employees, so they are educated on the topic.
When will an employer be held accountable for sexual harassment in Delaware?
If an employer fails to act when they are informed about a case of harassment, they can be legally penalized for not carrying out their duty. If the employer was aware of the harassment or they should have been aware, but they did nothing to rectify the behavior they can be held to account as well.
If the individuals who were abused are reprimanded by their employer or management for filing a complaint of this nature, then they may be held to account for their actions as well. Connect with a sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible to learn about one’s rights and what they should do to stop the harassment from occurring again.
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