Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious matter that violates both California and Federal Law. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, you may be able to recover damages for your suffering.
There are two types of sexual harassment an employee may face at work:
- Quid Pro Quo Cases
- Hostile Work Environment Cases
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid Pro Quo harassment occurs when a supervisor or employee conditions expressly or implicitly the offers of any employment or any job benefit, in exchange for unwelcome sexual favors, or threatens a job detriment for refusing a sexual advance.
Hostile Work Environment
The more common type of sexual harassment claim, a hostile environment harassment claim, generally occurs when the employee’s work environment is made hostile or abusive by misconduct.
Examples of a hostile work environment include:
- unwanted sexual advances or propositions
- verbal conduct, including epithets, slurs or derogatory comments & comments about a
person’s physical appearance or sexual activity
- physical conduct, including assault, unwanted touching or physical interference with
- leering looks, offensive gestures, sexually suggestive posters or drawings
The Employer’s Liability for Sexual Harassment
In California, if the harasser is a supervisor, the Company will be strictly liable for the harasser’s actions. This means the Company will be liable for the supervisor’s actions whether or not the Company had any prior knowledge of the supervisor’s conduct. However, if the harasser is a non-supervisory employee, i.e., a co-worker, the Company will be liable only if the Company had prior knowledge or is deemed to have had prior knowledge of the conduct.
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against anyone who files, or participates in the investigation of a harassment or discrimination claim. Retaliatory conduct could include, but is not limited to:
- denying promotions or pay raises
- disciplinary action
Thus, employees are generally protected from retaliation if they file a claim for harassment or discrimination
California Sexual Harassment Lawyers
If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you may be able to recover damages. You should seek the counsel of a reputable attorney experienced in sexual harassment litigation who will investigate all the facts to evaluate your claim and recommend the best course of action for your situation. Our law firm is extremely experienced in the laws of sexual harassment, has successfully represented numerous individuals in sexual harassment and retaliation cases against their employers, under both Federal and California law, and has helped victims recover substantial damage awards for their injuries.