High-profile sexual harassment claims have made news across the country, but one item that has not found its way into the headlines is the frequency of such misconduct in the workplace. According to data compiled by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), approximately 14% of all filings are based upon sexual harassment.
State and federal laws provide affected workers with options to hold the responsible parties accountable for harassment on the basis of sex. Our team at Minnis & Smallets LLP guides clients through the process of filing a claim, helping employees to navigate what otherwise can be a complicated and emotionally charged undertaking. Employees can contact our office to set up a consultation with a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco, and read on for key details regarding these cases.
Sexual harassment is prohibited by both the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). There are two types of actions that may violate the statutory provisions:
There are some key distinctions between the federal and state laws that employees should understand. For instance:
Because of the broader protections under FEHA, many California employees opt to seek legal remedies by filing a claim with DFEH. If the employee has an attorney, then the attorney can help the employee file the claim and obtain a right to sue, which allows the employee to proceed in court. Otherwise, the agency may attempt to investigate the matter and to resolve the sexual harassment claims through the administrative process. The proceedings are similar for workers who choose to file under the federal law, where the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles the claim.
An employee who is subjected to harassment may be able to recover monetary damages for back pay, emotional distress, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
For employees who have been subjected to unlawful sexual harassment at work, they should consider reaching out to experienced legal counsel to assist with the legal process. Our lawyers at Minnis & Smallets LLP are knowledgeable and dedicated to seeking justice. Employees who would like more information on available legal remedies should contact our firm or complete our online form. We can schedule a case evaluation with a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco.