When you go to work, you likely expect to do your job and leave without incident. However, when you experience sexual harassment in your place of work, it can inhibit your ability to do your job effectively and to the best of your abilities, as you may feel unsafe or threatened. Unfortunately, this occurs far too often. If you’ve been sexually harassed at your job, the following blog explores the steps you can take to receive justice with the assistance of a California sexual harassment lawyer.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII deems any form of sexual harassment as sex discrimination, making this illegal. However, many employees are unsure if what they experienced constitutes sexual harassment. As such, it’s essential to understand the behaviors employees are protected from.
There are generally two forms of harassment: hostile or general harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment. Hostile sexual harassment occurs when someone is the victim of unwelcome advances, sexually charged comments, touching, or behavior. For example, if you are a woman in the workplace and a co-worker continually asks you on dates and makes inappropriate comments about your body, this is sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a higher-up, such as your boss or manager, asks or demands sexual favors for employment benefits. For example, they may threaten to fire, demote, or reduce your hours worked if you do not comply with their demands.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Sexually Harassed at Work?
If you’ve been sexually harassed at your place of employment, understanding how to proceed is crucial. The first thing you should do is make it known that the advances or comments are unwelcome. If you feel unsafe speaking to the perpetrator, you should do your best to exit the situation. You should report the harassment to someone with the authority to handle the situation. Once you inform the appropriate party and provide all necessary information, your employer must investigate the circumstances and remedy the problem. However, if their remedy negatively impacts you, this is not acceptable.
You may also want to report the harassment to the California Civil Rights Department or the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Finally, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, many employers do not take these claims seriously or do not offer acceptable solutions for victims of harassment. As such, you can enlist the assistance of a lawyer to help you pursue the justice you deserve.
At Stansbury Brown Law, we believe no one should dread going to work because they are a victim of harassment at the hands of other employees, vendors, or customers. As such, we will examine the details of your case to fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.