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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment remains a prevailing problem in the American workplace. If you are wondering what constitutes sexual harassment, consider the following questions:

  • Have you faced any sexual advances from your boss or a co-worker?
  • Have you been subjected to inappropriate touching, groping, sexual jokes, or unwanted attention at work?
  • Does your boss or a colleague send you text messages or emails of sexual or inappropriate nature?
  • Does your supervisor try to get you alone at workplace where there are no witnesses and get close to you or talk about personal things?
  • Has your boss, supervisor, or any other person of authority asked you for sexual favors so that you can keep your job or get a promotion?
  • Does your boss or co-workers make comments about your clothes or body in a sexual manner?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. Since most people spend a better part of their day at work, they develop feelings of likeness toward other employees that may lead to inappropriate behavior. However, it is extremely important to discourage and stop this behavior and report it immediately.

A majority of companies have strict harassment policies in place and such cases are generally handled by the management. However, sometimes, when a person of power is involved, management ignores an appeal for serious action against such conduct. In such a case, you may turn to the legal system for help.

Laws Protecting Employees from Sexual Harassment at the Workplace

Under federal and state laws, sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace, whether it is done physically or verbally against a man or woman. Victims can file complaints with concerned government agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Several kinds of laws protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace, such as:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: It is a federal law that puts strict restrictions on employers for engaging in discriminatory acts against employees based on their gender or sex, which also includes sexual harassment. Title VII also protects employees from retaliation that may arise from filing a complaint about discrimination or harassment.
  • The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (the FEHA): Provides statutory recourse for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Local Ordinances: Some counties and cities have passed specific local ordinances that provide employees’ rights to be free from any form of sexual harassment at their workplace.

Filing a claim and proving the allegations against the harasser can be difficult, especially when they are backed by a team of lawyers. It is best that you work with an experienced and reliable employment law attorney who can aggressively represent your case to protect your rights and interests. Please contact our office today at 415-835-6777 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case. The consultation is confidential and you have no obligation to retain us.