Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any situation, but it is particularly so in the workplace. Whether a boss, a coworker, or someone else, whoever is responsible for sexually harassing someone in the workplace should be dealt with swiftly and firmly. Employers have a responsibility to create a culture that doesn’t tolerate sexual harassment, and they must deal with any violations swiftly. This doesn’t always happen, though, and that’s where the law must get involved. You have a right to file a complaint if you have suffered sexual harassment at work in Culver City, CA, and you may be owed compensation for what you’ve suffered. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we help people through the process to get what they deserve.
Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms. It need not be something as serious as sexual assault. Types of sexual harassment that can be found in the workplace include things like:
In California, there are two forms of workplace sexual harassment:
It’s important to note that hostile work environment sexual harassment generally needs to be persistent. This means that occasional, sporadic behavior won’t be considered harassment. However, even a single incident can be considered harassment if it is severe enough, such as with sexual assault.
If you’ve been harassed at work, the first thing you need to do is address the situation. If it is sexual assault, or some other criminal act, then it’s important to get the police involved. If it is unwelcome behavior, then you need to express that you would like the behavior to cease. This could mean respectfully but firmly confronting the harasser directly, then bringing it to a supervisor if they fail to stop, or you could go straight to the supervisor from the start.
It can also be helpful to take notes on the situation, such as the harassment you are facing, how you sought to see it handled, and what was done. These things may help your case later. If, after seeking to see the behavior addressed, nothing happens, and the harassment continues, it’s a good idea to speak with an employment lawyer. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we can take a look at your situation and advise you regarding your next steps.
A: In California, there are two kinds of sexual harassment that occur in the workplace. One is quid pro quo harassment. This is when a supervisor or someone else with authority offers a benefit in exchange for sexual favors. This could be something like a promotion, not being fired, better pay or work schedule, or another work-related benefit.
The other kind of sexual harassment is hostile work environment harassment. In these cases, there must be sexual behavior that is unwelcome, the treatment must be based on your sex/gender, and it must be persistent or severe. The qualification of persistent means that the harassment must continue after the offender is told that it is not welcome. Isolated instances are not likely to qualify. The exception here is if the behavior is severe, like sexual assault.
A: Employers in California have a responsibility to take reasonable efforts to prevent sexual harassment. This may mean things like providing sexual harassment training that is mandatory for employees. They also have a responsibility to investigate any claim of sexual harassment and take appropriate action. Depending on the circumstances, the appropriate action might be workplace discipline, reassigning the harasser, or even firing them. Employers are also responsible for not allowing retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment.
A: A sexual harassment complaint in California must be filed within three years. In the case of a more severe, single incident, the date that starts the 3-year clock can be pretty easy to identify. In the case of repeated harassment, it’s possible that the “continuing violation” doctrine may apply. This means that the clock for bringing a claim will not start until either the conduct ceases, or you realize the futility of any attempt to stop the conduct.
A: Employers are prohibited from firing workers for reporting sexual harassment. This is a form of workplace retaliation and could lead to serious problems for your employer. If you are suspiciously fired from your job after you bring sexual harassment to your employer’s attention, then you may have a case for wrongful termination. A lawyer can help you understand your options if this happens to you.
You deserve to have a workplace free from sexual harassment. No one should have to go to work and deal with the threat of being treated in such a fashion. Unfortunately, the process for addressing workplace sexual harassment can be complex and difficult to navigate. Furthermore, you need to ensure that you have a strong case, using relevant evidence. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and help you make your case. Your opposition is likely to have a lawyer defending them. We can help you counter their tactics. Contact us today to learn more about your rights to a claim.