Sexual harassment is just one of the many issues that employees in California face. While this involves any unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature and significantly affects any aspect of one’s employment, it could also be severe or pervasive enough to foster a hostile working environment. Just like any form of harassment, it is prohibited under federal and California employment laws. Indeed, as an employee, it is imperative that you assert your rights if you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, wherein you are entitled to seek legal representation from an employment attorney who can help you establish a strong sexual harassment lawsuit against your employer.
Basically, conduct associated with sexual harassment is considered “unwelcome” depending on the experience of the harasser and the one being harassed. In other words, the harassed may consider the harasser’s conduct unwelcoming even if at first, it was welcoming. In addition to this, sexual harassment is not actually about a male employee harassing a female employee; in fact, any conduct of such nature in the workplace also occurs between two people of the same sex and involving a female employee harassing a male counterpart.
One typical conduct that is present in many sexual harassment cases is called quid pro quo, which is a Latin phrase that means “something for something.” Such cases involve a company superior making direct or implied requests towards an employee to engage in sexual activity in exchange for an advancement within the workplace, may it be a salary raise or promotion. It is also possible that the employee may be disciplined, demoted, or even terminated if he or she refuses to accept the offer. If the harassed can show that quid pro quo harassment occurred in the workplace, then it is certain that the company, along with the harassed, is deemed liable and may possibly have to pay damages towards the harassed employee.
Aside from this form of sexual harassment, there are others that the courts and the prevailing federal and California laws have considered as such. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Many sexual harassment cases involve a combination of these unpleasant actions, which often worsens over time to the point that such behavior in the workplace are being tolerated. Thus, when these actions are repeatedly occurring, the workplace becomes a hostile work environment. The harassed becomes uncomfortable and scared because of the intimidating and abusive actions of the harassers, who are typically their bosses, managers, supervisors, or even co-workers. Indeed, a victim may claim hostile working environment if his or her complaints were not addressed and that the employer or company tolerates such offensive behavior.
Meanwhile, if you are an employee in California and you have been subjected to any of these instances, then you need to consult with a sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible. By doing so, you put yourself in the position to construct a sexual harassment claim that would allow you to point out the liability of your employer and increasing your chance of securing monetary damages.
It’s truly unsettling and at the same time troubling to be in certain situations wherein you are constantly hearing sexually-charged remarks and jokes directed towards you or you are repeatedly being threatened to lose your job/get a demotion/disciplined if you refused to give in to the demands of your boss, manager, or supervisor. In a hostile environment, everyone in the workplace is affected, even the ones who are not directly being harassed. Even if you are that person and you decided to report it through your company’s human resource department, you might not get a response at all, which then further the abusive and intimidating working conditions you are in.
Indeed, any circumstances in which sexual harassment is involved should not be ignored. Tell the harasser that his or her conduct is unwelcoming and that you would report what happened to the proper personnel in-charge of these situations if he or she does not stop. Also, you need to keep notes or a timeline of the event/s that occurred, as well as obtain documents that would provide the details to this event/s. If the harassment continued, then you let your employer or any people in authority within your workplace know about it by filing a complaint.
It is your employer’s responsibility to address your complaint. If it failed to do so, and at the same time retaliated against you through demotion or termination, then you have every reason to retain the services of a legal advocate.
Seeking legal help from our sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles would enable you to come up with a strong claim that would hopefully put your employer liable for the ordeal you experienced in the workplace. In doing so, you have a big chance of securing damages from your employer, which would cover for your lost wages and emotional distress you experienced at work.