The Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Azadian Law Group, PC know that in today’s modern era some people often make the mistake of assuming that the workplace is devoid of harassment and abuse. But harassment does happen with one of the most common types of harassment in the workplace being sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is not only offensive. It is degrading, humiliating, and those who take the right measures to protect themselves from it often face retaliation and further discrimination. This type of treatment is not okay which is why as at the Azadian Law Group, PC has made it our mission to fight against sexual harassment and to secure maximum recovery for anyone who has been sexually harassed in the workplace.
California laws also provide for strict liability on the part of the employer for such harassment by a supervisor. See Myers v. Trendwest Resorts, Inc., 148 Cal. App. 4th 1403, 1419 (2007). This means that the employer is liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor. However, an employer is only liable for sexual harassment by a co-worker if the employee brings the harassment to the attention of the employer. See Carrisales v. Dep’t of Corr., 21 Cal. 4th 1132, 1135 (1999) (“Harassment of an employee…by an employee other than an agent or supervisor…shall be unlawful if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of this conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate action.”). In this regard, California Government Code Section 12940(k) makes it unlawful for an employer to “fail to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.”
Sexually harassment is something which is typically directed towards women, but men can also be targeted victims. California employment law provides that harassment includes but is not limited to: verbal harassment, e.g., epithets, derogatory comments or slurs on; physical harassment, e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement; visual forms of harassment, e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings; or sexual favors, e.g., unwanted sexual advances, which condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favor. See Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 2, section 11019(b)(1)
There are five common types of sexual harassment which individuals may face today:
This is when an individual is threatened or is offered a reward (such as a raise or a promotion) in return for a sexual favor. Threats may be direct or implied, often in the form of a proposition, and in a way which makes it clear to the victim that he or she will be jeopardized if he or she does not comply with the abuser’s request.
Physical harassment is any time an individual is touched unwillingly. This may include:
This may be from someone who works within the firm or someone who does business with the company or the firm. Some examples include referring to someone as “honey”, “babe”, “stud”, or whistling at a person.
It also includes turning workplace discussions into sexual discussions, and asking personal questions that are of a sexual nature. Sexual comments about the appearance, anatomy and clothing of a person, as well as repeatedly asking someone for a date and refusing to take “no” for an answer, are considered to be verbal harassment.
Non-verbal harassment can take on many forms, including:
Displays such as suggestive pictures of objects which are put up throughout the workplace and offense people may fall under the environmental harassment umbrella. These items will depict men or women as sexual objects.
Those who are victims of sexual harassment can take a number of routes to remedy the situation.
There are a couple of informal options you may want to take to diffuse the sexual harassment before taking more serious steps:
If you feel comfortable enough, bring it up to the offender that their behavior or images are offensive and that they are making you uncomfortable. In some instances an individual may be unaware that his or her behavior or material is offensive to others. Make sure that your approach is polite but firm.
Many workplaces will have an employee handbook which will outline how an employee should handle issues such as sexual harassment. Follow these steps and make sure you follow up to ensure that action is being taken and that the issue is going to be rectified.
Have a talk with your supervisor or manager and express your concerns. He or she will be able to step in and make sure that the workplace is comfortable and lawful for you and everyone else in it.
There are also formal options which you can take if the informal options do not work, or if you feel uncomfortable taking any of them:
Your company’s human resources department will investigate the matter on your behalf and will determine what further action will be taken as necessary.
Hiring an attorney is another substantial way to make sure that your rights are upheld and that your job is not negatively influenced by the sexual harassment.
If you believe that you are being sexually harassed at work, there are a number of ways an employment lawyer at the Azadian Law Group, PC can help.
Our employment attorneys do more than help you prove your sexual harassment case. We are available throughout the entire investigation process and will explore all avenues to make sure that you are compensated for your discomforted and potential losses, such as a wage increase or a promotion.
Another reason why employees hire us is to protect themselves from retaliation. The law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report sexual harassment, but having an attorney in your corner is more than often enough to make sure that retaliation of any kind and in any form does not occur.
If you believe that you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, we want to hear from you. Azadian Law Group, PC serves the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas and offers free consultations. To speak to one of our knowledgeable sexual harassment attorneys today, please call 626-449-4944 or 213-229-9031 or 949-662-5405
As we never charge our clients a penny out-of-pocket, you can rest assured that when we accept a case, we are standing behind our client 100% and will fight aggressively for their rights.