According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sex discrimination in the workplace is illegal and punishable by law. The Act contains other protected traits as well, but employers still violate civil rights on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for coworkers, customers, and managers to participate in some form of sexual harassment. As a victim, you should pursue your rightful compensation if you were targeted. In some cases, such as those involving upper management and workers, there could be strict liability. These cases consist of quid pro quo harassment (exchange of sexual favors for positive treatment) and the creation of a hostile workplace environment. Other scenarios only involve normal liability. For more help, reach out to our sexual harassment lawyers in Long Beach. Our team at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group will handle your case for you and win you the compensation you deserve.
Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can take on many forms, some of which may be much more overt than others. Other types may be seemingly innocuous or have innocent intentions, but can still make you uncomfortable. You should always enforce your personal space and boundaries, and if anyone violates that space, let him or her know. Perpetrators often claim that they had no ill intentions with their actions, especially if the actions are vague; for example, a wink may be a simple way to include you in a joke, but if it is done at inappropriate times or on the tail end of innuendos, it can lead to uncomfortable situations and may have meant something more.
The most common form of sexual harassment is unwanted and unsolicited touching. This can include groping, massaging shoulders, touching the small of the back, grabbing or grasping your private areas, hugging, brushing, and more. Often, these acts occur just long enough to be uncomfortable, and they usually occur after you have been cornered or confronted.
You may also be repeatedly harassed to go on a date or to start seeing someone. These repeated requests can gradually become more explicit. What may have started as a coffee could eventually progress to getting pressured for sex and other acts.
Some individuals may text you incessantly with suggestive or explicit messages, or they may send you emails with inappropriate contents. They could leave you voice mails and notes as well. Some perpetrators may go to all extents to harass you, using all possible mediums.
Suggestive remarks and actions can be considered harassment. For example, some harassers will whistle and catcall you, or constantly speak in innuendos and double entendres to make you uncomfortable. They could constantly make overt facial expressions, like raised eyebrows, winks, and tongue wags.
It has been commonly complained about that some harassers will not actually touch victims, but they may touch themselves in view of the victim or refer to what they want done to them.
In the worst scenarios, harassers may commit full on sexual assault or rape, even potentially at the workplace. Many workplace assaults happen in the stairwells and parking structures, often after-hours, where there are few cameras and passersby.
No matter what kind of sexual harassment you have suffered, you should contact our sexual harassment lawyers in Long Beach to help you with your case.
Evidence for Your Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
One of the most difficult aspects of filing a sexual harassment claim is gathering evidence. In many cases, there is very little evidence supporting your case. You may have been cornered and groped in an area of the building that was deserted and had no cameras, or you may have been the only person to suffer the discrimination. You are more likely to acquire evidence if the harassment is ongoing or if it happens to multiple individuals. Ample evidence can include:
- Messages and emails from Human Resources that show that you filed a complaint and they received it, regardless if they took no further action or if they discussed it extensively with you
- Pictures, videos, and recordings of the harassment
- Statements and testimonies from coworkers or anyone who saw the harassment occur and witnessed you being mistreated or discriminated against
- A journal detailing the harassment, which should include details, dates, important notes, and more
- Surveillance video footage if available showing the harassment, which can also show the negligence of your employer if they did not take preventative or punitive actions after the fact
It is important that you do not act too quickly when preparing a sexual harassment claim. For starters, you should first try to talk to the harasser to get him to stop acting in such a way. If he persists, you should complain to your boss and then to Human Resources. Only when you’ve taken all possible routes at your job should you begin to approach the DFEH or an attorney.
Our Long Beach sexual harassment attorneys are well qualified to handle your case and will happily represent you.
Sexual Harassment Claim Restitution
You can receive different types of compensation from a sexual harassment claim if you pursue them. A jury or insurance company will not simply award you extra damages if you do not request, fight, or negotiate for them. Victims should be appropriately compensated if they were sexually assaulted or harassed in the workplace. Examples of what you can receive include:
- Missed income from the past, including wages, promotions, health insurance benefits, stock shares, commissions, tips, and more
- Future missed income, such as money you will not be able to earn because you will be out of work or because of the difficulty of finding another job
- Medical bills and expenses if you were physically assaulted or harmed in the incident, as well as coverage for hospitalization, physical therapy, medication, and more
- Emotional pain and suffering, like anxiety, PTSD, fear, mental scarring, and more
- Punitive damages in times of gross negligence or when harm was deliberately intended, but punitive damages are very difficult to win due to their punishing nature and the fact that most judges and juries view them as excessive
- Reinstatement of your old job, or a similar position in the company, but these choices are given up because of the potential backlash from the company after a sexual harassment claim
If you are in need of assistance and need to get the maximum compensation for your case, we will help you. Our Long Beach sexual harassment attorneys will work around the clock and negotiate the fairest deal from the insurance agency. You shouldn’t be expected to cover these expenses yourself.
Time Limit to Sue Your Employer
You can take legal action against your employer for only a specific amount of time after the incident occurs. If you were exposed to sexual harassment t work and suffered mistreatment, you will have to first file a complaint with the relevant agency that handles discrimination claims. Federally, this is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You will have 180 days to file a claim with them. However, if there is a State agency, you must adhere to their regulations. In California, this is the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), who have a 300 day limit on filing a complaint for discrimination.
Once you have filed a complaint, the DFEH will conduct an independent investigation. They will only see if you have ample case to sue. They will then issue you a right-to-sue letter if they found your case compelling; you will thus have one year from the date of this letter to sue your employer for sexual harassment.
It is important to understand that the statute of limitations is not static. It can be extended or shortened depending on many factors. A common example of a decreased statute is the nature of the defendant – if you are suing a government agency, you will only have 45 days to take action. On the other hand, the location of the defendant will play a considerable role in the case. If you cannot sue the defendant because he is not in the state or the country, the statute would be frozen and then begin to count down again when he returns.
This can be extremely confusing information, especially if you have never taken any legal action before. You may not even know that a statute of limitations exists for sexual harassment claims, but thankfully, we are here to help. If you have any questions whatsoever as to how much time you have left, we will gladly assist you. Call our sexual harassment attorneys in Long Beach for more help.
The Best Choice Firm
Our law firm, the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, is one of the most highly rated firms in the area. We have decades of combined experience handling discrimination claims and will not hesitate to take your case to court if necessary. Our aggressive attorneys will fight tooth and nail to secure you a fair settlement.
Get in touch with our firm today for a free legal consultation. Our consultations are all private; none of your case details or personal information will be shared outside of our walls, and we will make sure you are not retaliated against for taking legal action. You are encouraged to ask us anything you wish and we will inform you about the laws surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace. We will also tell you what we believe we can win for your claim.
If you choose us to handle your case, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee. Your personal financial standing is important to us, and you will not have to spend a dime throughout the case. We will cover all the legal costs and we won’t get paid unless and until we win, with the money coming out of the settlement we bring you from your employer. Your employer or the responsible party will thus cover your legal fees. If we lose, we do not take any payment whatsoever, and we eat the costs while you remain debt-free to our firm.