Sexual harassment is a violation of your legal rights as an employee. It is also a demeaning, harmful action. It is important to assert your right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. This not only ensures the safety of you and your coworkers, but it also discourages employers from allowing sexual harassment to persist amongst their workers. Learn more about your legal rights as a California employee from a sexual harassment attorney near you.
There are many different words, gestures, actions, and policies that can constitute sexual harassment in the workplace. This includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment based on gender, sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation is also illegal in California. Therefore, demeaning comments about gender or sexuality in general can be illegal (for example, making disparaging comments about all women, or all homosexuals).
Sexual harassment usually falls into one of two categories: quid pro quo or hostile work environment. In quid pro quo sexual harassment, a person is asked for sexual favors in exchange for employment perks. These perks could be a pay raise, a promotion, a job title, or simply keeping your job. A hostile work environment is created when a worker is discriminated against because of his or her sex, gender, or sexuality. Under federal law, harassment is unlawful only if it is sufficiently severe or pervasive. However, in California, harassment is unlawful if “creates a hostile, offensive, oppressive, or intimidating work environment.” Such harassing conduct is illegal when 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.”
If you are uncomfortable with comments, gestures, behaviors, or policies that you have experienced in the workplace, it is important to consult with your own sexual harassment lawyer. Human resource departments are paid for by an employer to protect the company from liability. If the employer is allowing its employees to be sexually harassed, your human resources staff are not in a position to protect your legal rights.
A sexual harassment lawyer can help you document exactly what is happening in the workplace. A skilled attorney will also be able to devise the legal strategy that is right for your situation. This might include a formal complaint to your employer, or it might start with gathering information about your claim. It could eventually include a lawsuit. All of these are options you should discuss with a skilled sexual harassment lawyer who is on your side – not your employer’s.
At Minnis & Smallets, we believe in protecting the right of employees to be free from harassment in the workplace. We fight hard to protect your right to compensation and to help discourage sexual harassment in the workplace. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced sexual harassment attorneys. The sooner that companies are held accountable for allowing sexual harassment to occur, the safer all California employees will be in the workplace. Don’t wait, there is a sexual harassment attorney nearby to help your case.