Sexual harassment creates particularly difficult challenges for women in the workplace. It may also be directed at men. We know how to prove these claims, how to get past the “he said, she said” obstacles, and how to present the profound emotional damage caused by sexual predators and harassers.
What Kind Of Actions Are Considered Workplace Harassment?
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission view sexual harassment as conduct that is offensive and unwelcome. It can come in the form of unwanted sexual advances, derogatory comments, threatening behavior and other behaviors based on a person’s gender or sexual orientation.
The harasser and the victim can be of the same or the opposite sex. Anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment. No one should have to work in a place where they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
There are two main types of workplace sexual harassment claims: hostile work environment claims and quid pro quo claims. Quid pro quo sexual harassment happens when someone in a position of authority seeks or requires sex as a bargaining chip in exchange for promotions, raises, or to avoid termination or punishment, or to receive favorable treatment. Someone might offer employment opportunities in exchange for sexual favors or threaten to fire an employee if they do not cave in to a harasser’s inappropriate behavior. Hostile work environment harassment stems from behavior that makes the work environment sexually hostile, intimidating or offensive. Inappropriate jokes, gestures, suggestions or advances often create a hostile work environment, as well as threats and displays of sexual media.
Harassment may come from the boss, from a co-worker, or even from a vendor or customer.
Your Employer’s Duty To Train
California sexual harassment law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training at least once every two years. Supervisors must receive training within six months of being hired or being promoted to supervisor.
Sexual harassment training must include a description of types of conduct that are considered harassment, as well as the employer’s policy for addressing and correcting reports of workplace harassment. The employer is also required to notify employees of the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment and strategies for preventing it.
You Are Not Alone
Sexual harassment is not your fault, and not a burden to shoulder alone. If you have experienced work-related sexual harassment, we are here to listen, and we can help. The attorneys of Alexander Morrison + Fehr, LLP are highly trained and experienced in employment law. We are devoted to ensuring your rights are protected, and you have a safe place to work.
To speak with a lawyer dedicated to employee justice, call our office in Los Angeles at 310-394-0888 or reach out online using our confidential contact form.