Sexual harassment is prohibited as a form of sex discrimination in the workplace. Federal law prohibits sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while California state law prohibits sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). An Alameda County sexual harassment attorney can assist with your claim.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) defines sexual harassment in the workplace as “unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Sexual harassment includes both hostile work environment harassment (or behavior that is so egregious that creates a hostile work environment) as well as quid pro quo (or “this for that”) harassment.
The DFEH provides the following examples of sexual harassment in the California workplace:
If an employee files a claim under federal law, she must file her claim through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In general, the EEOC requires that an employee file a charge within 180 days from the date of the harassment incident (or the last harassment incident if the situation is ongoing).
If an employee files a claim under state law, he or she must file the claim through the DFEH. Under California law, an employee must usually file an employment discrimination complaint with the DFEH within one year from the date of the discriminatory act, or the sexual harassment incident.
California state law generally has broader explicit protections for employees than does federal law, especially when it comes to sexual harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Employees in Alameda County who have faced sexual harassment at work should speak with a sexual harassment lawyer to determine whether to file a claim under state or federal law.
Employers in Alameda County are required to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The law requires employers to do the following:
Employers may be required to take additional affirmative preventive measures and should speak with an Alameda County sexual harassment lawyer to ensure that they meet their obligations under the law.
If you have questions about sexual harassment in the workplace, a sexual harassment lawyer who practices in Alameda County can speak with you today. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.