Arizona Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Arizona Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on sex, including sexual harassment (AZ Rev. Stat. Sec. 41-1463 et seq.). Effective July 19, 2021, the Act expressly includes pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions in the definition of sex. An employer is defined as a person who has 15 or more employees; however, in cases of sexual harassment, the Act covers employers with one or more employees in the current or preceding calendar year.
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State law does not require training regarding an employer's policy on sexual harassment. However, training is strongly recommended. Training in the prevention of sexual harassment enables supervisors to properly address sexual harassment complaints, educates the workforce on issues of sexual harassment and the prevention of potentially harassing situations, establishes the employer's policies, and provides the basis for an effective defense to sexual harassment claims. There is additional information.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects both sexes from unlawful harassment and allowed a male former employee to proceed to trial with his harassment case (EEOC v. Prospect Airport Servs., 621 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2010)). The employee in this case complained to four different management officials about a female coworker's sexual advances, but no corrective action was taken. One manager dismissed his complaints by characterizing the harassment as "just a joke." The court ruled that there was sufficient evidence that the employer knowingly denied protection to the male employee.
Practical tip: Employers may be able to avoid a similar outcome by ensuring that ...

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