State and federal laws protect San Jose employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. It is important for employees to understand these rights so that they know how to respond to violations of these legal rights. A San Jose sexual harassment attorney can help you develop the legal strategy that is right for your situation. Understand that your HR department and the company’s lawyers are not on your side. Their only job is to protect the company from liability – including from your sexual harassment claim. Get a lawyer on your side to ensure that your legal rights are protected in the workplace.
Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that means “this for that.” In sexual harassment cases, it refers to a situation in which a supervisor requires sexual favors in exchange for preferential treatment or to avoid a negative outcome, such as being fired.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) governs sexual harassment claims arising in San Jose. It requires proof of the following for quid pro quo harassment:
The other common type of sexual harassment is a hostile work environment. Unlike the quid pro quo, a hostile work environment can be created by any coworker (whether they outrank you or not). This environment is created when a coworker makes sexual comments, gestures, advances, slurs, or other inappropriate behavior.
In order to sustain a legal claim, a hostile work environment must be so egregious as to interfere with your ability to perform your job or undermine your sense of well-being. A single incident may not be enough to meet this definition. Occasional name-calling may also not be enough to meet this definition. Only an experienced San Jose sexual harassment lawyer can evaluate your case to determine if your circumstances will support a legal claim. If not, there are still other options your lawyer can pursue to help you feel safe in the workplace.
The other requirement for a legal claim is that your employer failed to correct the behavior. Because a sexual harassment claim is filed against the employer, not the individual who committed the offending behaviors, your employer must be given notice of the problem. The employer can then be found liable if it fails to take reasonable steps to stop illegal conduct in the workplace.
San Jose employees have the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. The experienced employment lawyers at Minnis and Smallets fight hard to protect this right. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced sexual harassment attorneys. When you hold an employer accountable for providing a safe workspace, all California workers are safer and more secure in their legal rights.