Strong Representation when Sexual Harassment Occurs at Your Job
Professional counsel when supervisors, managers, co-workers, and company staff trouble you because of your sex
If you are being harassed at work, the first thing you want is for the harassment to stop. The second thing you should want and demand is to hold the wrongdoer accountable. Sexual harassment includes much more than misconduct by those who run the company. It also unwanted advances, conditions, and experiences that supervisors, co-workers, clients, customers, and others conduct or request. Sexual harassment often has long-term psychological and emotional consequences such as depression and insomnia in addition to the stress of losing a job or not getting a promotion.
The California sexual harassment attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates have a track record of successful settlements and verdicts. In one case, we helped a woman who worked for the Chancellor of UCLA settle a sexual harassment and hostile work environment claim involving a female administrator for $650,000. Our lawyers understand the humiliation of sexual harassment cases. That is why, in addition to working to get justice in the courts against the employer, we work with professional counselors, therapists, and doctors to help the victims of the harassment get the help they need.
What conduct or actions are sexual harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as;
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Unwelcome behavior is the critical word. Unwelcome does not mean “involuntary.” A victim may consent or agree to certain conduct and actively participate in it even though it is offensive and objectionable. Therefore, sexual conduct is unwelcome whenever the person subjected to it considers it unwelcome.
The different types of workplace sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is essentially any type of conduct that makes an employee feel unsafe at work because of her sex. Our California sexual harassment attorneys bring claims in California and federal courts for this type of workplace harassment. Some of the common types of sexual harassment claims we handle are:
- “Quid pro quo” harassment. Quid pro quo means something for something. It refers to employers or people who work for the employer requiring some form of sexual behavior in return for some job benefit. Unwanted sexual behavior includes sexual performance or submission. A job benefit can include keeping a job, being promoted, getting a pay increase, or other positive benefits.
The Rape Incest and Abuse National Network ( RAINN.org) estimates that only about 5% of sexual harassment cases take the form of quid pro quo situations. Though less pervasive, they are far more damaging to victims, causing loss of employment, loss of self-esteem, emotional trauma and stress, physical manifestations of stress, depression, loss of appetite and sometimes alcohol or drug use.
- Creation of a hostile work environment. Most cases of sexual harassment fall into this category. A hostile work environment involves working conditions that are so intolerable that the victim feels like she/he cannot do the job, suffers emotionally just thinking about going to work, or even quits because of mistreatment. Our California sexual harassment attorneys work with victims to understand their job, to learn what work behavior is normal, and to investigate any other allegations of sexual harassment. We often begin our investigation be examining how other similar workers are being treated. Our duty is to show the employer knew of the hostile work environment and failed to take corrective action.
- Employees who file complaints about any type of sexual harassment should not be punished for complaining. If an employer fires or mistreats a work just because she/he followed the legal rules about giving notice to a supervisor or someone in authority of sexual harassment, the employer can be subject to a lawsuit.
Other forms of sexual harassment can include physical or verbal harassment. Physical harassment covers rape, sexual assault, nonconsensual contact, groping, and other forms of physical touching that have a sexual component.
Verbal harassment may also qualify as sexual harassment if it is severe enough and often enough. An off-hand remark, on its own, may not constitute sexual harassment – but a combination of remarks can qualify. Stalking, sending pornography, constant phone calls, catcalls, and other verbal comments may qualify as sexual harassment. Pressure for dates, neck massages, personal questions about your sex life, leering- There are hundreds of actions and words that can be construed as sexual harassment in the workplace.
A plaintiff does not have to be the person directly being harassed. An office-worker who constantly listens to sexual abuse or sees sexual harassment of another may also feel threatened and have the right to file a claim. The complainant does not have to prove any economic loss. Improper sexual harassment at work is enough to bring a lawsuit.
Get legal help now if sexual harassment at work is making you feel uncomfortable in any way
Going to work should be a pleasure not a worry or fear. You should be able enjoy colleagues and your work, create where possible, and just feel like there are no unreasonable pressures. Women and men should not dread seeing or hearing someone in the office because of a concern that may be unduly propositioned or made to feel uncomfortable because of who they are or how they look.
California sexual harassment attorney Stephen Danz sees clients across the state. He is ready to help you stop the worry, get compensation for improper behavior, and stop the employer from intimidating you or anyone else. Call his office now for help at (877)-789-9707 or complete his contact form to schedule a free consultation. He takes sexual harassment cases on a contingency fee basis.