Sexual harassment is one of the most commonly litigated types of workplace harassment. When a person suffers this kind of workplace violation, it can make it impossible for them to focus on their jobs. If you are being sexually harassed at work, you have legal options to protect yourself and your career. At Frontier, our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers can help you prove that there was unethical behavior and build a case to protect yourself and other employees from this kind of treatment.
Sexual harassment occurs when a person receives unwanted sexual advances, whether in exchange for something or simply to make someone feel uncomfortable. This crime falls into two general classifications: quid pro quo harassment and creation of a hostile work environment.
Examples of sexual harassment in the workplace include:
Unwanted touching (such as back rubs)
Making sexual advances
Making sexual remarks about an individual
Discussing sexual topics
Asking sexual questions about a person’s sex life
Sending crude or sexual photos without one’s consent
Leaving unwanted gifts that involve a sexual nature
Spreading sexual rumors
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a trade-off of sexual favors, a romantic relationship, or cooperation in some other type of sexually-based scenario. The most common form of quid pro quo sexual harassment involves a superior who offers a promotion or other favorable treatment to an employee in return for sexual favors, or who penalizes an employee who rejects his/her advances.
Hostile Work Environment Claims
Hostile work environment claims are often less clear-cut and may arise in the context of sexual harassment or in relation to any other protected class.
For example, a hostile work environment claim might arise out of:
Repeated, unwanted touching
Ongoing discrimination relating to race, sex, or another protected characteristic
An environment characterized by vulgar language, sexually explicit discussion, or display of explicit material
To rise to the level of actionable harassment, a hostile work environment must be pervasive. Single or occasional incidents will generally not be sufficient to support a claim.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
It is important to know important facts if you feel you have been a victim of harassment in your work environment:
Men and women can be victims and either men or women may also be the harasser. Illegal sexual harassment may even be found if the victim and harasser are the same sex.
Harassment can occur in the office, work events, or between coworkers not present at work.
Harassment claims can take form from peer to peer, supervisor to employee, or even a third-party against a employee.
What To Do If You Experienced Sexual Harassment
Too often, people who are subjected to harassment in the workplace feel helpless. The environment might be so destructive that it induces anxiety, makes you physically ill, and fills you with a sense of dread about going to work in the morning. Employees who fear losing their jobs or facing other penalties frequently feel they have no choice but to tolerate harassment.
But the law can protect you, only if you act. Establishing a sexual harassment claim requires not just a showing of harassment but also that the employer has been allowed reasonable time to correct the situation and failed to do so.
Here are some steps you should take if you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace:
Report the harassment to your supervisor and/or HR. Certain types of harassment claims require that you follow internal procedures and that you submit a complaint to an agency prior to pursuing a civil case. Often, agency filings have much tighter deadlines than lawsuits.
Document the harassment. Keep detailed notes of the incidents, the dates they occurred, the individual(s) involved, and any correspondence that took place through email or in person. The more evidence you have, the better it is for your case.
Consult an attorney. If the harassment continues and your employer fails to act, talk to an attorney to learn more about taking legal action against your employer for failing to protect you.
If You Are a Victim of Harassment, Get Help Now
An experienced Los Angeles workplace harassment attorney can explain your rights and options so that you can make informed decisions about how to address your situation. Frontier can help you determine whether you are ready to pursue a workplace harassment claim against your employer.
You should not feel trapped, anxious, or unsafe at work. Take control right now by reaching out to us online or Call (877) 423-1444. We’ll schedule a free and confidential consultation so you can share your story.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.