Sexual or sex harassment refers to certain sex discrimination acts that violate both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Title VII. These laws legally recognize two primary sexual harassment types, which include quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment.
But unlike federal laws, which impose liability for businesses with 15 or more workers, FEHA also provides protections for all kinds of workers, including employees, interns, volunteers, and independent contractors in California. Additionally, all genders and sexes, including LGBTQIA+ people, are protected.
This type of sex harassment refers to situations in which employees of higher positions in the company request or force sexual favors from other employees with lower positions in exchange for employment perks. For example, a manager asks one of their team for a sexual favor in exchange for a better position or a pay raise.
Quid pro quo harassment is different from other sex harassment types since it should involve a perpetrator with a higher-ranking position to the person who’s being sexually harassed. Additionally, the plaintiff is only required to prove just one sexual misconduct incident for their claim to be considered valid.
Hostile work environment harassment occurs when a worker engages in some kind of sexual harassment, making it impossible or extremely difficult for another worker to perform their job properly. Unlike quid pro quo harassment, this form of sex harassment is focused on the specific nature of the worker’s conduct, such as how offensive or hostile it is. It may also negatively affect the work environment for multiple workers, instead of just one incident that might only impact one worker. Examples typically include:
It’s also important to note that anyone in the workplace could be accused of perpetuating a hostile work environment. This could include supervisors, colleagues, managers, executives, contractors, visitors, repeat clients, vendors, and other staff workers with significant contact with the workers.
Indirect or non-direct sexual harassment occurs when a secondary party feels offended by the sexual harassment that another worker is inflicting on another worker. For example, if you heard a colleague making sexually offensive remarks on another colleague, this can be considered indirect sex harassment. This can also apply to:
If you believe that you’ve experienced some kind of sexual harassment in your workplace, please do not hesitate to reach out to the San Francisco sexual harassment attorneys of Minnis & Smallets. We can guide you through all the necessary legal procedures for filing a sexual harassment claim without fear of your employer retaliating against you, which is illegal.
We can likewise help you file a lawsuit for sexual harassment against the liable party if your employer failed to resolve your claim. Reach us by phone or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our San Francisco Sex Harassment attorney today.