The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group has handled dozens and dozens of sexual harassment claims by employees over the years. We know that sexual harassment is a rampant problem in the workplace, and we wish to bring about effective changes to prevent the problems from continuing. Unfortunately, many instances of sexual harassment go unchecked and unreported, so it is no surprise that victims do not get the compensation they deserve. Even when there are reports and complaints, though, employers may not always take them seriously or will try to downplay or ignore the troubles. If you have been sexually harassed at your job and want to pursue a lawsuit, contact our Sacramento sexual harassment attorneys for more assistance. You can receive the fairest treatment possible, and our lawyers will dedicate themselves to your case.
Federal Law of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Federal Act also protects workers based on their religion, race, nation of origin, and more, in addition to their sexes and genders. There are also specific state laws that outline definitions of sexual harassment and what punishments are.
Sexual discrimination is punishable under the law, and employers can be held liable for the damages and suffering that victims undergo. There is strict liability if the harassment is quid pro quo (“something for something”), or if there is a promise or request of preferential or special treatment in exchange for sexual favors and acts. A hostile work environment also enacts strict liability, as a supervisor or boss’s behavior and actions can make a workplace intimidating, offensive, unwelcome, and fear-inducing to other workers, often based on their sex or gender.
Strict liability does not come into play when the harassment happens between coworkers who are on equal footing or when the perpetrator is a client or a customer. Third parties also do not incur strict liability onto the employer. Essentially, if the perpetrator has an elevated relationship with the victim, the liability will be strict.
If you have questions concerning more specific laws of sexual harassment or sexual assault, call our sexual harassment attorneys in Sacramento.
Forms of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a wide spectrum of actions that can reach from physical acts to text messages. Remarks do not have to be extremely explicit, and touching does not have to be overt and assault-like. Essentially, sexually suggestive behavior that makes you uncomfortable can be categorized as sexual harassment. Victims do not give consent and do not return the solicitation. Some forms of sexual harassment can be found below:
- Inappropriate touching, groping, hugging, massaging, grabbing, and more
- Sending unsolicited explicit messages, photos, emails, letters, and more
- Phone calls with sexual details or requests
- Requesting or demanding sexual favors for work reasons, such as extending deadlines, taking calls with clients, setting up important meetings, taking sick or vacation days, and more
- Whistling, cat calling, making suggestive remarks, and making general sexual statements
- Shifting the topic to sex or sexuality during discussion
- Self-touching while in view of the victim or while staring at the victim
- Outright sexual assault, battery, and rape
There are other forms of sexual harassment that are more difficult to qualify and prove, such as making suggestive facial expressions and gestures, using pet names (baby, sweetheart, love, honey), and making innuendos and jokes. If you feel uncomfortable due to the actions of someone at your job and you feel sexually harassed, you should contact our lawyers in Los Angeles for more assistance with a sexual harassment lawsuit.
Procedure after Sexual Harassment
Victims of sexual harassment may be confused and fearful, especially if the perpetrator was violent or could potentially wreak further havoc if any action is taken against him. Victims should be sure to follow these steps in the event of sexual harassment:
Firstly, ask the harasser to stop doing anything that makes you uncomfortable. He may respond positively to the direct approach and tone down or cease his actions.
Complain to your boss and to your Human Resources department if the harassment continues. You should make sure to record these conversations and ensure that they are not purely verbal. That is, if you filed a complaint with HR, you should request that you receive a copy of the report, and you should also email the department to have a paper trail. You can print out anything that was exchanged between you and the other party.
Document the harassment as best you can. You may write the incidents in a journal with specific dates and ample details, or you may have pictures and videos of the harassment happening. I you received phone calls, voice mails, text messages, picture messages, emails, or other things from the harasser, you can preserve this evidence.
It is likely that other coworkers either saw you get mistreated or they were mistreated themselves. They could provide you with ample testimony and statements to support your claim.
Lastly, it is important that you contact a sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles for more assistance. We will make sure that your claim is filed with the right entity and that your evidence is all gathered together and not missing anything important. You must first file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) before you can file a lawsuit.
If you have any questions or misgivings about taking legal action against your employer because of the sexual harassment, we highly recommend speaking to our lawyers for more help. We are empathetic and can help you through every step of the legal process. We have handled numerous claims and know the best methods to success, and we make sure to stand by our clients from start to finish. If you need someone, we will always be there for you.
Statute of Limitations on Sexual Harassment Claims
If you plan on filing a sexual harassment claim (which is a discrimination case), you do not have an unlimited time to do so. In California, the presence of the DFEH means that you have 300 days from the date of the incident to alert the DFEH to the harassment so they can investigate. Upon investigating and discovering that there are enough grounds for you to sue, they will issue you a right-to-sue letter. You will then have 1 year from the date of the letter to sue your company for sexual harassment.
The statute of limitations for federal employees is greatly decreased, however, often to a period of merely 45 days. The statute may actually be extended or temporarily put on hold in some situations, such as when the defendant leaves the country or when one of the parties must serve in the military.
A Sacramento sexual harassment attorney can accurately determine how much time you have left to file a claim and can help you figure out if you are missing any important documents. We will gladly file your lawsuit for you and ensure that everything is submitted on time. If you are eligible for any exceptions, you can count on us to find them.
The statute of limitations is in place to ensure that claims are swiftly handled and do not sit around while evidence gets lost or corrupted and witnesses misremember or forget crucial details. The compensation may also no longer be relevant after some time. It is wise to take action as quickly as possible.
Potential Compensation from a Lawsuit
With the help of our attorneys, you can receive the maximum settlement available under the law. If you were victimized at work, it is only fair that your employer be made to cover any and all damages accrued from the harassment. You can receive compensation in the forms of:
- Lost income (bonuses, commission, tips, promotions, vacation pay, sick pay, retirement pay, stock shares) from the past and future
- Future pay if you cannot find a job in the meantime during the case or in the months following it
- Emotional pain and suffering (PTSD, anxiety, fear, mental trauma)
- Punitive damages (monetary damages awarded simply to punish the defendant, but they are rarely handed out because they are usually viewed as excessive or unfair; a skilled attorney can win them for your case)
- Medical bills and expenses if you were raped or assaulted (hospitalization fees, medication, physical therapy, surgery costs, ambulatory transportation, and future procedures)
- Reinstatement into your old position (although many choose to forgo this option because of the potential problems it can cause, such as retaliation, continued harassment, targeting, reduction of work hours, changes to responsibilities, and more)
We promise to work around the clock to bring you the compensation you deserve. We will not stop until we are satisfied with the results of your case. We will fight for every penny we can get you, and we will not settle for a low offer. Call a sexual harassment attorney in Sacramento today for the best help available.
Our Firm’s Promise
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group promises to dedicate ourselves to your claim. We are an experienced team of lawyers that has won millions of dollars for our clients, and we specialize in sexual harassment claims. We are empathetic and know how troublesome it can be for you to suffer through the ordeal, and the emotional pain can be too much to bear. We will do all we can to win you what you deserve.
Call us today for a free legal consultation. We will give you our estimate on what we can earn for you and we will gladly answer any questions you have about your case. If you hire us to represent you, we will also give you our zero fee guarantee, which promises that you won’t pay any fees whatsoever throughout the case. If we win, we get paid from the settlement we bring you; if we lose, we take no money at all from any party.
For more help, contact our Sacramento sexual harassment attorneys today.