A supervisor corners you in a storage room, demanding sexual favors in return for shift change. A co-worker sends insulting emails about your alleged sexual preferences. Your boss makes a comment about your legs every time you what by. What do all of these real-life scenarios have in common? They are examples of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Unwelcome, unsolicited sexual advances or derogatory comments in the workplace entail sexual harassment. It may be as seemingly harmless as a passing comment or may even be a full-blown attack. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a quid pro attack or abuse, call us. Our experienced sexual harassment lawyer will help you.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual, physical, or verbal conduct in the workplace and is against federal and California law. There are two categories of sexual harassment:

Quid Pro Quo1435302711_Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when employment is conditioned on the submission to unwelcome sexual advances. This condition can be express (such as a supervisor saying “If you want to keep your job, you’d better have sex with me”) or implied.

Hostile Environment

The more frequent type of sexual harassment, hostile environment harassment, generally occurs when the employee’s work environment is made hostile or abusive by sexual misconduct or discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines a hostile work environment as harassment that establishes a work environment a reasonable person would view as intimidating, hostile or offensive.

Federal Law

There are several federal laws that prohibit sexual harassment, including Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

State Law

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also makes workplace sexual harassment against the law in California. Sexual harassment protections extend to independent contractors. Under FEHA, harassment includes gender harassment or sex-based harassment, i.e., conduct that shows hostility based on gender even though the conduct itself was not sexual. An example of this type of harassment would be a supervisor’s hostile comments that “women do not belong in the work place.”

Examples of Sexual Harassment

We have worked with clients who have been victims of all types of sexual harassment possible. Several common examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Unwanted sexual advances or propositions
  • Verbal conduct, including slurs or derogatory comments and comments about a person’s body, appearance or sexual activity;
  • Physical conduct, including assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement; and
  • Harassment, including leering looks, offensive gestures or derogatory posters, cartoons or drawings.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

You have the right to report instances of sexual harassment in your workplace, whether you are the victim or you are a witness. If your employer retaliates against you for making a report, he/she is breaking the law and you may be able to bring a whistleblower claim against your employer.

Under California law, if workplace harassment has occurred, the employer has a duty to take measures to not only change the harasser’s behavior, but to prevent potential harassers from unlawful conduct down the road.

Victims of Sexual Harassment

The serious effects of sexual harassment to the recipient and any witnesses are many. They can include emotional and mental suffering, related physical issues, financial problems, and more. If you’ve seen or experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, talk to our experienced sexual harassment attorneys about your legal rights and to discuss your options for obtaining damages.

Financial Recovery for Harassment Victims

There are certain administrative steps a sexual harassment victim must take before filing a lawsuit, which our employment attorneys can walk you through. When suing for injuries suffered as a result of the harassment, an employee can seek:

  • Reinstatement, if you lost your job;
  • Back pay (multiplied by three times) if you lost money or missed out on a raise;
  • Lost fringe benefits;
  • Damages for emotional distress;
  • Your attorney’s fees and court costs.

This list is not exhaustive.

The Right Employment Law Attorneys

If you have been mistreated by your employer, contact Hardin & Lott, an employment law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Orange County employment law firm with experience in representing employees just like you.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by an illegal labor/employment practice, you want experience and success on your side. Contact the knowledgeable lawyers at Hardin & Lott today.

(949) 337-4810, (310) 606-2122, or (844) 615-1122

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