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.
We do not charge a fee unless you win. We hate losing.
San Diego Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual Harassment can rear its ugly head from a number of perspectives ranging from full-on rape to psychological office workplace harassment. We have dealt with both ends of this spectrum and can help; call (619) 793-4827. The key to having a solid case is to have someone who can act as a witness regarding what is taking place; you will be sure the other side will deny it.
More important than having a good case is having safety. If you are being sexually harassed, avoid contact with the person as much as possible. He or she may invite you to come to work in the evening or on weekends when no one is there; simply say no. If you can, contact HR or your supervisor and inform them of this immediately. If you do not make your position clear to the perpetrator, he or she will continue inching along until it gets to the point of no return.
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.
- Be careful. For example, if someone is from the midwest, they may call you 'darling' or 'sweetheart'; you will find this from people from the United Kingdom. There may be no sexual innuendo whatsoever. By the same token, someone may call you 'Ms' or 'Mr'...and your name very professionally, yet at the same time working on finding a way to get you into bed. Pay attention, and examine both the big picture as well as the detailed picture. Put everything together and if you really still feel you are being sexually harassed, you probably are.
- Call now, and let's plan a strategy: (619) 793-4827.
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 are a lot of misconceptions and much confusion surrounding workplace sexual harassment. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions that clients have asked us; we hope they help you understand harassment law a bit better:
No. Besides your supervisor, the harasser could be a co-worker or an agent of your employer.However, in situations where it is a co-worker, there may be no way that the employer is aware of the sexual harassment. It is your duty to report the harassment to HR or your superior as soon as possible. Keep in mind, more important than having a good legal case is having safety: do not take any chances in the hopes of making it a good case!
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. For this reason, as we mentioned in the previous question's reply, inform your supervisor as soon as possible, not only for having a case, but more importantly for the reason of safety.
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.
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.
Yes. Even if you are not the direct target, the offensive conduct might create a hostile work environment for you. At the end of the day, you are there to earn a living or follow a career, not to be the recipient of any sort of sexual harassment. Call now at (619) 793-4827.
No. Economic harm is not necessary to claim sexual harassment. It takes its toll with your health, job advancement opportunities, and many other areas of your life. Some have economic consequences and others do not. None of them are right, however.
Yes. Not only is sexual harassment unlawful but retaliation for complaining about the sexual harassment is also unlawful. Examples of retaliation are being fired or demoted for reporting the sexual harassment. If you are not certain about the retaliation, just call us and ask; keep our number with you, in case something new pops up.
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.