Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- This conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment or
- Unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
What our Sexual Harassment Lawyers Can Help You With:
1. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
When some term of employment is conditioned upon the employee accepting or submitting to the harasser’s sexual advances or sexual favors. “Quid pro quo” essentially means “this for that”. This type of harassment could either be in the form of an offer or a threat.
NOTE: A single act from the harasser is sufficient to be considered quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Examples of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
- Request for sexual favors such as an employer or supervisor offering an employee a raise in exchange for sex.
- A supervisor telling an employee to have sex with him or face termination.
- A supervisor telling an employee to have sex with him or face demotion.
- A job applicant being asked to engage in sexual acts in order to obtain a position.
2. Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Here, we are dealing with a situation when conduct is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment. Due to the sexual harassment, the employee’s work environment is made hostile, offensive, oppressive, intimidating, or abusive.
For hostile work environment sexual harassment, courts look at several factors including the nature of the conduct, frequency, number of days, and context of the conduct.
NOTE: The conduct must be severe OR pervasive. Generally, hostile work environment involves multiple acts or a pattern of harassment over time that becomes pervasive. Sometimes a single act that is so severe creates a hostile work environment (e.g., sexual assault).
Examples of Hostile Work Environment Situations our Sexual Harassment Lawyers Work with:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Sexual comments, slurs or taunts
- Groping, kissing or unwanted touching
- Sending sexually explicit emails, texts or pictures
- Pervasive displays of materials with sexually explicit images or language
Laws That Protect Against Sexual Harassment
Both state and federal laws protect employees against sexual harassment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 makes discrimination on the basis of sex unlawful. Under Title VII, sexual harassment is actually one form of sex discrimination.
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) explicitly makes sexual harassment unlawful. The FEHA generally provides more protection and damages for employees.
Frequently Asked Questions
There tends to be a lot of misconceptions and confusion about sexual harassment. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions:
Does the harasser have to be your supervisor?No. Besides your supervisor, the harasser could be a co-worker or an agent of your employer.
Under California law, is your employer liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor or co-worker?It depends. If harassment is by a supervisor, the employer is strictly liable. If the harassment is by a co-worker, the employer is liable if the supervisor knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.
Does the harasser have to be a person of the opposite sex?No. There is opposite sex and same-sex sexual harassment. Both women and men are subjected to sexual harassment and may take action to protect their rights.
Is “sexual motive” or sexual attraction required for conduct to be considered sexual harassment?No. The harasser does not need to have a sexual motive for hostile work environment sexual harassment. Under California law, “sex” is defined broadly and can include harassment based on gender or pregnancy. In 2014, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) was amended to add that “sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire.
Can you claim sexual harassment even if you are not the intended target of the harassment?Yes. Even if you are not the direct target, the offensive conduct might create a hostile work environment for you.
Do you have to suffer some kind of economic harm or injury to claim sexual harassment?No. Economic harm is not necessary to claim sexual harassment.
Is it also unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for complaining about the sexual harassment?Yes. Not only is sexual harassment unlawful but retaliation for complaining about the sexual harassment is also illegal. Examples of retaliation are being fired or demoted for reporting the sexual harassment.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A WORKPLACE FREE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SEXUAL HARASSMENT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONTACT A SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWYER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
IF YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE BEING SEXUALLY HARASSED OR ARE AN EMPLOYER WITH A CASE FILED AGAINST YOU, PLEASE CALL US TODAY AT (619) 793-4827 FOR A CONSULTATION.
We represent both sides of sexual harassment, the employer and the employee, so that we can understand, in detail, how the other side thinks, and that has made us successful in developing our winning strategies.