Alaska Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Alaska Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Alaska Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, or parenthood when the reasonable demands of the position do not require a distinction based on a protected characteristic (AK Stat. Sec. 18.80.010 et seq.). The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that sexual harassment is unlawful discrimination under the Alaska Human Rights Law (French v. Jadon, Inc., 911 P.2d 20 (AK 1996)). The law applies to all employers in the state, except social clubs and fraternal, charitable, educational, or religious associations or corporations, as long as the corporation or association is not-for-profit.
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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an employee who claimed her former employer sexually harassed her in violation of federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)(Davis v. Team Elec. Co., 520 F.3d 1080 (9th Cir. 2008)). In this case, the employee provided evidence that the employer gave her a disproportionate amount of dangerous and strenuous work, excluded her from meetings that male coworkers attended, and failed to respond to her radio communications when she was in the field. The court noted that the employer failed to take steps to prevent harassment and did not have an antiharassment policy or any preventive measure such as sexual harassment training. It also noted that the employee's supervisors allegedly played a significant role in creating the hostile environment and that the employee alleged she was prohibited from reporting harassment to anyone but her supervisors, who were among the alleged harassers. The court ruled that the evidence was sufficient to support the employee's ...

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