California Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Both California and federal laws protect employees from harassment at work based on their sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or pregnancy. However, the law does not stop harassment from occurring or workplaces from allowing it to continue, however, which results in many employees experiencing this type of harassment in its various forms.
If you experienced sexual harassment at work, you have important legal rights. You need to speak to an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in California who can evaluate your situation and help you pursue a legal claim. This process can be challenging, but you can count on our attorneys to stand up for you.
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Sexual harassment in Los Angeles
Sexual harassment can happen in any type of work environment, from movie sets and restaurants to warehouses and construction sites. Employers should be well aware that any type of sexual harassment is unacceptable, and they are required to fully comply with all of California’s sexual harassment training requirements.
Unfortunately, people still experience this type of harassment every day. Many employees do not know what to do when they are harassed by a peer or supervisor. In fact, many people express uncertainty as to whether or not what they are experiencing constitutes unlawful harassment.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, including sexually related:
- Comments or jokes
- Unwanted advances
- Unwanted touching
- Gestures, messages, or pictures
- Offering benefits for sexual conduct
- Threatening your job if you refuse sexual advances
In many—but not all—situations, you must report the matter to your employer and give them a chance to stop the harassment before you can take further legal action. For some employees, the situation is so intolerable that they are forced to quit their jobs. If you feel like you experienced harassing behavior at work, you need to take action. Never hesitate to contact an experienced workplace harassment attorney in California, even if you are unsure of what happened. Part of our job is assessing your situation and determining whether or not you have a claim. Please contact us directly if you have concerns about possible sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment FAQs
Potential clients often come to our legal team with many questions. Here are some of the most common ones. To discuss your specific situation, reach out to our office directly.
What are the types of sexual harassment?
There are two different types of sexual harassment recognized by the law. They are:
- Quid pro quo harassment: This is a highly serious form of sexual harassment involving a manager, boss, or someone with authority over your job. That individual might base the future of your job on your willingness to participate in sexual conduct. For example, you might get offered a promotion if you agree, or threatened with termination if you refuse.
- Hostile work environment: This type of harassment can come from anyone in the workplace, and it involves a wide range of sexual and offensive behaviors. This can include lewd comments; messages; unwanted contact; remarks about your body, clothing, or attractiveness; and more. If you report this behavior and your employer does not take proper steps to make it stop, it can be considered to be a hostile work environment.
Sexual harassment can create a hostile work environment when it is either pervasive or offensive enough that a reasonable person would find it intolerable. Many people feel they have no choice but to quit if an employer allows a hostile work environment to continue. However, you should recognize that you still have important legal rights if you quit.
What laws prohibit sexual harassment at work?
There are several state and federal laws that prohibit sexual harassment at work, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies if there are 15 or more employees.
- California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which applies to all employers in the State of California.
You can bring a sexual harassment claim under state or federal law, and this is something you should discuss with your lawyer to determine the best course of action for your individual claim.
What should you do if you believe you are being sexually harassed?
You should never feel like you are forced to just tolerate harassing conduct at work. Even if the conduct seems relatively minor, you should always report the matter to your employer if you feel comfortable doing so. This provides notice to your employer that harassment is occurring and can help you prove your employer willfully let the harassment continue. You should then contact a sexual harassment attorney who can evaluate your rights.
How can a sexual harassment claim help you?
Sexual harassment can cause a surprising amount of damage to your life. You might leave your job or feel the need to take a leave of absence, causing you to lose income. You can lose your benefits and the hard work you put into your career. You can also suffer emotional trauma and distress or—in the instance of sexual assault—even physical injuries.
A sexual harassment claim allows you to hold your employer accountable for your losses. You can receive compensation for lost income and suffering. By taking action, you can also help prevent the perpetrator from harassing others in the future.