Sacramento Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and as such, violates California and federal law. When it occurs in the workplace, it creates a hostile working environment for the victim. Sexual harassment may affect women or men, and it may be perpetrated by a member of either sex. The perpetrator or victim may be heterosexual or homosexual. Harassment includes various persistent offensive and unwanted behaviors, which may or may not involve actual physical contact.
Sexual harassment in the workplace makes working difficult for the employee being targeted. If you have become a target of sexual harassment by a coworker or superior on the job, your job is at risk.
To legally be considered “harassment”, the offensive behavior must usually be more than a one-time occurrence, and be severe and persistent. Many victims of sexual harassment develop long-term emotional or physical illnesses as a result of stress associated with the harassment.
Types of Sexual Harassment
The law recognizes two general types of sexual harassment. One is quid pro quo harassment in which yielding to the unwanted sexual advances, or tolerating them, is a condition of keeping your job. The other type is “hostile working environment” in which the unwelcome sexual behavior is so severe and common that the level of hostility and abuse makes it difficult or impossible for you to adequately perform your job.
Examples of Workplace Sexual Harassment
These are some examples of workplace sexual harassment:
- Repeated written or verbal sexual propositions
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Comments about your body, your appearance, or your sexual preferences
- Derogatory sexual remarks or gestures
- Requests for sexual favors
- Shoulder rubs, pinching, patting, touching of breasts, groin, or buttocks, or any other undesired physical contact
- Exposure drawings, photographs, posters, or cartoons depicting or implying sexual acts or displaying genitalia
The Employer’s Responsibility for Preventing Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace (or in any business or professional situation) is a violation of California and federal law. It is every employer’s legal responsibility to take concrete steps prevent it. The employer must have in place a clearly-defined grievance procedure to deal with it if it occurs, and to enforce the policies stringently. Failing to do so exposes the employer to liability for damages to the victim.
If the Harasser is Your Supervisor
Under California law, if your supervisor sexually harasses you or retaliates against you for reporting the harassment, your employer is liable for your damages. You do not have to prove that the company was negligent.
Protect Your Legal Right to a Harassment-free Workplace
If you are being harassed on the job, you should seek advice from a lawyer who handles employment harassment matters. Your lawyer will let you know the correct procedure to follow to ensure that your rights are protected. Generally, if able, you should tell the person harassing you to stop, and if this is not sufficient, inform your company’s human resources specialist. If the behavior persists, your lawyer will help you file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you file your complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, you can ask the agency not to investigate but to immediately issue a right-to-sue letter. You may request a “right-to-sue” letter. Your attorney will make certain that all forms are filled out correctly and submitted in a timely manner to protect your right to redress.
Get the Legal Help You Need for Sexual Harassment in Northern California
You will find the expert legal representation you need by consulting Labor Law office, APC in Sacramento. We handle employment cases throughout Central and Northern California and frequently travel to meet with prospective clients throughout the area. Our attorneys are knowledgeable, professional, and experienced litigators committed to a non-hostile and harassment-free California workplace for all. There is no charge for your initial case evaluation and we accept most cases on contingency, so you only pay us if we win.