California Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorneys for Women
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Handling Sexual Harassment At The Workplace
California has some of the strongest labor laws prohibiting harassment and discrimination, yet 40% of female employees claim to have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Her Lawyer’s workplace harassment attorneys are dedicated to protecting their clients’ rights to a safe workplace free of harassment. Victims of workplace sexual harassment often find themselves in abusive, hostile environments that are unsuitable for employment. Pursuing a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator is often the best way for employees to serve justice, exercise their rights, and protect other employees from potential harassment. At Her Lawyer, we understand that every legal situation is different, and so are their solutions. Based on your unique legal matter, needs, and preferences, we’ll match you with the most qualified attorney in your local area. As sexual harassment is a sensitive matter, some clients feel more comfortable hiring an attorney of the same or opposite sex; we will accommodate your needs and preferences. At your request, our team will connect you with one of our female workplace sexual harassment attorneys.
If you or a loved one has experienced sexual harassment at work, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact Her Lawyer for legal help.
What is sexual harassment in the workplace?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is legally defined as harassment based on an individual’s sex at one’s place of employment. However, harassment does not need to be sexual in nature to count as sexual harassment. Any form of harassment on the basis of an employee’s sex or gender identity can be considered sexual harassment.
Employees facing sexual harassment often pursue civil lawsuits for their perpetrators to face justice. At Her Lawyer, victims of sexual harassment are matched with a qualified, passionate attorney based on their legal situation, needs, location, and preferences. When dealing with such sensitive matters, some clients feel more comfortable with an attorney of the same or opposite sex; we will accommodate your preferences. If you prefer a woman lawyer, one of our female workplace sexual harassment attorneys can protect your legal rights.
What is considered sexual harassment in the workplace?
Under California labor laws, forms of workplace sexual harassment may include
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Pervasive or severe jokes or comments that are sexual in nature
- Unwanted physical touching
- Sharing sexually inappropriate texts or pictures
- Offers of workplace advancements or favors in exchange for sexual acts
- Threats of retaliation when an individual denies sexual advances
Furthermore, victims of sexual harassment must not necessarily be the target of the offense; co-workers who feel hostile in their work environment as a result of such incidences can be viewed as victims by a court as well.
Common forms of sexual harassment in the workplace often include:
- Sharing sexually suggestive texts, notes, or emails
- Sending sexually explicit and inappropriate photos or messages
- Displaying inappropriate sexual gestures or pictures
- Touching a coworker in a sexual manner
What is the quid pro quo for sexual harassment in the workplace?
The quid pro quo form of sexual harassment in the workplace is a request for sexual acts by use of threats or in exchange for favors.
What is not considered sexual harassment in the workplace?
In order for incidents to be legally considered sexual harassment, Calfornia law mandates that such incidents must be “severe or pervasive”. Impromptu comments, mild teasing, or awkward, stray events are typically not considered sexual harassment.
Furthermore, consensual sexual relationships between co-workers are legal and usually cannot be considered sexual harassment.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The following examples can be considered workplace sexual harassment:
- After making unwelcomed, mildly sexual comments, Cole, the company supervisor, messages a sexually explicit photo to Melissa, an employee.
- Cole sends Melissa an email suggesting that he can get her a promotion if she sends him a nude photo.
- At an office party, Cole makes an inappropriate sexual gesture to Melissa.
- Cole pervasively suggests that Melissa receive breast implants because they would better “suit her figure”.
- When walking down the hall, Cole “playfully” slaps Melissa’s buttocks and says “good work today”!
Can you sue for sexual harassment in the workplace?
Yes, California employees can sue their employers that violate sexual harassment laws. However, employees facing sexual harassment should take the following steps in order:
- Talk to the offender (if feasible)
- Make a complaint to your company’s HR
- File an administrative charge with the EEOC
- File a lawsuit
Taking all three steps prior to filing a lawsuit will strengthen your workplace harassment case. A court will recognize that you took proactive measures to end the sexual harassment before taking the case to trial, thereby strengthening your claim.
How do courts determine if workplace sexual advances are unwelcome?
The legal standard for civil action in workplace sexual harassment cases is if the incidents were “severe or pervasive”. Although they may be unwelcomed, offhand comments or mild teasing usually are not considered sexual harassment. However, if unwelcomed sexual comments or acts are “severe or pervasive” in nature, then they can be considered sexual harassment.
Workplace Sexual Harassment Law – FAQs
How much money can I get for my sexual harassment lawsuit?
The value of your sexual harassment lawsuit is highly dependent upon compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are granted to compensate employees that lost money as a direct or indirect result of the harassment, while punitive damages are designed to punish employers that willingly commit or ignore acts of sexual harassment.
In a sexual harassment lawsuit, compensatory damages may include:
- Lost wages
- Commissions, bonuses, or tips
- Benefits, including retirement and pension plans
- Paid leave
- Health insurance
- Profit-sharing or stock options
A court may grant order a negligent or malicious employer to pay punitive damages, mainly for the purpose of preventing such acts from occurring in the future.
Is there a monetary cap on sexual harassment damages?
Under federal law, there is a cap of $300,000 for sexual harassment damages.
Do sexual harassment cases end up in court?
The majority of sexual harassment lawsuits are settled outside of court. Most employers would rather agree on a monetary settlement with victims of workplace sexual harassment rather than take the case to trial.
Who pays financial compensation in a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit?
Regardless of if the perpetrator was a supervisor, coworker, or client, the employer is held financially responsible for sexual harassment damages.
What should a female employee do if she encounters harassment?
A female employee that is facing sexual harassment should take the following actions before filing a lawsuit:
- Talk to the offender (if feasible)
- Make a complaint to your company’s HR department
- File an administrative charge with the EEOC
What to do if an employee is facing harassment in the workplace by a supervisor?
An employee facing harassment by an employer or supervisor should first make a complaint to the company’s HR department, then file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If these actions are unsuccessful, then the victim should file a lawsuit against his or her employer.
Can you be fired for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace?
No, California labor laws prevent employers from firing employees in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. If you have been fired for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer.
If you’ve been wrongfully terminated after reporting sexual harassment at your place of employment, a workplace harassment attorney can file a wrongful termination lawsuit and seek financial compensation on your behalf. Some victims of sexual harassment feel more comfortable hiring an attorney of the same or opposite sex; contact us to get in touch with one of our female workplace sexual harassment attorneys.
Is sexual harassment in the workplace a crime?
Depending on their nature, acts of sexual harassment can be criminal. Sexual assault falls under workplace sexual harassment laws, and perpetrators can be criminally punished.
Are naked female tattoos considered sexual harassment in the workplace?
Depending on the graphic nature of the tattoo and any incidents associated with it, a coworker’s naked female tattoo can be considered sexual harassment.
What type of attorney handles sexual harassment cases?
When hiring an attorney to handle your sexual harassment case, its important to find one with specialized experience in your legal matter. Workplace harassment attorneys carry the concentrated expertise necessary to properly handle sexual harassment cases.
Her Lawyer’s attorneys carry specialized experienced in workplace sexual harassment cases. No sexual harassment experience is the same, so it’s important to hire an attorney that carries experience in your particular situation. Based on your unique legal matter, needs, and preferences, we’ll connect you with the most qualified attorney in your local area. If you prefer to be represented by a woman lawyer, we’ll connect you with one of our female workplace sexual harassment attorneys.
Workplace Harassment Law – Attorney Principles
Protecting Your Legal Rights
At Her Lawyer, your legal rights are our priority. Sexual harassment in the workplace is heavily prohibited; all employees are entitled to a safe work environment free of harassment. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, its imperative to exercise your employment rights and seek justice.
When dealing with matters as sensitive as sexual harassment, its important to make deliberate, well-informed decisions that will strengthen your workplace harassment claim. You and your experienced attorney will develop a legal plan based on proactive measures rather than reactive responses. Your attorney will effectively navigate through civil employment laws, keeping you informed every step of the way.
At Her Lawyer, we understand that no legal matter is the same; every situation calls for its unique set of actions, planning, and solutions. We understand that sexual harassment is a very sensitive topic for some victims; our workplace harassment lawyers handle these types of cases with confidence, expertise, and discretion. Every attorney in Her Lawyer’s network carries at least five years of specialized experience and undergoes gender sensitivity training. Nonetheless, we understand that some clients may feel more comfortable hiring an attorney of the same or opposite sex; we will accommodate your preferences. At your request, we can connect you with one of our female workplace sexual harassment attorneys; they carry the refined expertise necessary to handle these legal matters.
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