Federal and state laws ban sex discrimination against California employees, and sexual harassment is one form of sex discrimination. You have the right to go to work and be free from sexually offensive conduct, though sexual harassment continues to permeate many workplaces.
If you experienced sexually harassing conduct or unwanted sexual advances at work, there are steps you should take to protect your rights to work free from this unlawful behavior. You should discuss what happened and how to protect yourself under the law with an experienced San Francisco sexual harassment attorney right away.
The law prevents harassment based on any protected factors, which include race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, and more. Sexual harassment continues to be a serious issue in workplaces, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received more than 13,000 complaints regarding sexual harassment in a recent year. This is in addition to the estimated 23,000 complaints received by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing per year. The reality is that sexual harassment can happen to you, and you should know how to recognize when your rights are violated.
Sexual harassment can happen in many different ways, and each situation has unique circumstances. In California, harassment is unlawful if it creates a hostile, offensive, oppressive, or intimidating work environment. Harassment deprives victims of their statutory right to work in a place free of discrimination when the harassing conduct 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.
In California, an employer is strictly liable for harassment committed by supervisors but only liable for harassment committed by co-workers and customers if it knew or should have known that the harassment is occurring. Therefore, you may not be able to hold your employer accountable for harassment by your co-workers if you do not report the harassment to your employer.
If you experience sexual harassment, you should speak with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in San Francisco right away.
Sexual harassment can cause financial harm and emotional trauma, and it can even derail your career. You should never be expected to tolerate a hostile work environment or quid pro quo harassment, and you should speak with a San Francisco sexual harassment attorney about your situation. Contact the law firm of Minnis & Smallets LLP to learn how we can help as soon as possible.