Palo Alto Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Palo Alto Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Palo Alto Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Though great strides have been made to counter sexual harassment in the workplace, statistics from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) reveal that struggles remain. According to the agency’s 2017 Annual Report, 14% of all filings received by the agency involved different types of sexual harassment.

At Minnis & Smallets LLP, our team is dedicated to fighting on behalf of employees who experience unlawful, demoralizing harassment on account of sex. Members of the California workforce have options to address misconduct, and a Palo Alto sexual harassment lawyer will pursue all available remedies allowed by federal and state law.

Summary of California Sexual Harassment Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, specifically focusing on two types of misconduct.

  • Quid Pro Quo: This form of sexual harassment may exist where an employee requests sexual acts in exchange for preferential treatment.
  • Hostile Work Environment: An employee may create an offensive, intolerable work setting by making sexually suggestive comments or engaging in other acts.

Though federal law protects against sexual harassment, FEHA offers broader protections for California employees. Examples include:

  • Under California law, it is possible for workers at smaller companies to bring a claim for sexual harassment. Title VII only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, while FEHA prohibits harassment by employers with 1 or more employee.
  • Under California law, harassment is unlawful if it ““sufficiently offends, humiliates, distresses, or intrudes upon its victim, so as to disrupt the victim’s emotional tranquility in the workplace, affect the victim’s ability to perform the job as usual, or otherwise interfere with and undermine the victim’s personal sense of well-being,” while federal law only prohibits harassment that sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the employee’s employment and create an abusive working environment.

How Sexual Harassment Claims Work

In order to file a claim of sexual harassment in violation of FEHA in court, an employee must first file a charge of discrimination with the DFEH, which can investigate the matter and attempt to resolve employer-employee sexual harassment claims. A similar remedy is available from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After exhausting his or her administrative remedies, the employee can file a lawsuit in court. Through either process, an employee may be entitled to monetary damages and equitable relief.

A Palo Alto Sexual Harassment Lawyer Can Assist with the Claims Process

Sexual harassment claims can be complex, and they are further complicated by the emotional and intimate nature of the subject matter. An attorney is a valuable resource for addressing workplace sexual harassment, by taking on such tasks as:

  • Investigating the circumstances;
  • Preparing a charge of discrimination to file with the DFEH or EEOC;
  • Supplying essential documentation to support the sexual harassment claim; and,
  • Litigating the case on behalf of the employee.

Contact Our Palo Alto Employment Attorneys for More Information

Sexual harassment continues to be a problem, but California employees do have rights when subjected to unlawful acts in the workplace. Our team at Minnis & Smallets LLP is prepared to take advantage of all legal options for our clients. Employees with concerns about workplace misconduct can contact our office or fill out our online form to schedule a case evaluation with a Palo Alto sexual harassment lawyer.


If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

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