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Workplace Sexual Harassment

Being sexually harassed while at work isn’t just uncomfortable, unfair, and uncool – it’s also illegal under federal and California labor laws. If you suspect or know that you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, the aggressive California employment lawyers at Equal Justice Law Group are prepared to defend your rights and secure the compensation you deserve! Don’t be afraid to take action and stand up for yourself. Call today to book a consultation and learn more.

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What Qualifies As Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a broad term that describes many types of unwelcome advances based on an employee’s sex. This includes any type of visual, verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Note that the key word here is “unwelcome”. This can sometimes lead to gray areas, but will ultimately be decided based on intent and available evidence and not mere perception. 

There are two main categories within this broader umbrella: “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, and hostile work environment. 

Quid pro quo means “something for something”, and here describes a workplace situation where a supervisor, manager, boss, or other person in a position of power at the company seeking sexual favors from an employee in exchange for providing workplace benefits (or by threatening to withhold benefits, or sometimes both). For example, if Susan’s boss implies or outright tells her that if she keeps rejecting his requests to go out on a date, it may affect her upcoming performance review, that would be quid pro quo sexual harassment. (Think of the #MeToo movement as being full of prime examples of this.) 

The other category is hostile work environment, which refers to conditions in a workplace where the nature of the unwanted sexual advances/comments is so severe and repetitive that it makes it difficult to come to work every day, uncomfortable for everyone in the office, or otherwise changes the nature of the job. For example, if Jane is the only woman in her department, and the men are constantly commenting on her looks or body or cracking jokes about her sexuality, she may have a claim. 

It’s important to note that while women are most frequently the victims of workplace sexual harassment, men, or those who identify as transgender, homosexual, or nonbinary can also experience harassment, and have the same protections under the law. Sexual harassment can also occur between people who are of the same sex. 

Consequences Of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment is serious. It’s not just something to laugh off or put up with! It can not only affect your own peace of mind, sense of safety, and emotional well-being – which you DESERVE to have intact, both at work and outside of work – but it can also cause your coworkers and employers to lose respect for you or objectify you. It can cause you to miss out on promotions or other work benefits you otherwise would have received. It may cost you your job. The total toll it can take may be monetary, and end up costing you thousands of dollars or more in tangible economic costs. 

Your Rights Under California Labor Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other laws and statutes, prohibit workplace sexual harassment. The law protects employees as well as volunteers, unpaid interns, independent contractors, and even job applicants from being harassed in this way! You may not need to prove that your job performance suffered as a result due to new changes in the law. 

You have the legal right to file a lawsuit and recover damages for back pay, front pay, loss of reputation, mental anguish, attorneys’ fees, punitive (punishing) damages, court costs, expert witness fees, and more. Our California workplace sexual harassment lawyers can help you determine how much your case is worth and what your options are. 

How Equal Justice Law Group Can Help You 

Equal Justice Law Group is committed to fighting for the rights of employees and ensuring equal justice for all – it’s in our name! Even if you aren’t 100% sure that you have a case, but you believe that you may be experiencing sexual harassment at your job, our team can listen to your story and give you reliable legal advice. We’ll answer all of your questions, investigate your case and gather evidence, and advocate for you to receive the compensation you deserve! 

At our firm, every client is a partner. We’ll communicate clearly and often with you so you aren’t left in the dark or sorting through legal jargon. We will always treat you with the compassion we ourselves would want to be treated with. And your best interests are our top priority! To date, our firm has served over 7,000 clients in our 28 years of practice. You can rely on our experience and knowledge to give you an advantage. Call today to book your no-obligation, confidential consultation and learn more! 

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