Workplace discrimination and harassment is tough to endure, especially if you are severely outnumbered and none of your coworkers are willing to step in and help you. The discrimination may come from other workers, your boss or supervisor, and even customers. It is very important that you do take necessary actions, such as going to Human Resources or reporting harassers, but sometimes, there are no other options than following through with legal recourse. Sadly, not many people are aware of what needs to be done to sue an employer for sexual harassment. Our team of sexual harassment attorneys at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group implores all victims of sexual harassment or misconduct to contact us for legal assistance and representation.
What is sexual harassment?
It is necessary to understand what sexual harassment is and how it can be categorized. It is generally considered unwanted sexual advances that make you uncomfortable create a problem in the workplace. It can be based on gender, perceived or actual sex, sexual orientation, childbirth, gender expression, marriage, and more.
The first type of sexual harassment is quid pro quo harassment. This is a Latin term meaning “something for something,” which implies that there is an exchange happening. A boss or supervisor must be the one to initiate and carry through the harassment. There must be a power differential between the two parties, and the exchange generally consists of sexual favors for some kind of work benefit, such as a promotion, perk, vacation, positive review, referral, or other benefit. The harasser must be able to affect the work status of the victim in some manner. You could potentially be demoted, suffer cut hours, face reduced or docked wages, get reassigned to another position, or be wrongfully terminated.
The second type of sexual harassment is hostile workplace environment harassment. It does not need to be carried out by a supervisor and can be committed by regular coworkers. One of the key factors in understanding this type of harassment is that you do not need to explicitly be a victim to take legal action. You could have witnessed the harassment and been offended or concerned for the rest of the workplace, so you reported it.
Sexual harassment can happen when:
- A coworker inappropriately touches you, such as by rubbing your neck, patting your butt, hugging you when you give no consent, and more
- Someone at work groped you or engaged in sexual molestation (sexual molestation is not an occurrence that is limited to minors)
- A coworker sent you lewd photos of themselves masturbating, performing sexual acts, or making suggestive remarks, or sent you pornographic images and videos
- Someone from worker cornered you and attempted to have sexual relations with you, or you were constantly solicited for affairs, one night stands, and other acts
- A coworker gifted you sexually explicit objects like sex toys, asked you to use them together, or else placed these items requested to use them with you, or even had these sex toys present in plain view in his office or space
- You were raped, sexually assaulted, or otherwise physically harmed while working, and can occur after hours, in parking lots, in deserted areas during closing, and more
If you were harmed or harassed in such a manner, it is important that you pursue legal actions.
What to Do If You Were Sexually Harassed at Work
In the event that you were sexually harassed at work, you should take all necessary actions to stay safe and to report the harasser to the proper channels. Often, people are afraid that they will be further targeted or that they will not be believed. It s important that you do not hesitate or wait too long to try and correct the problem and get the harasser punished. However, if no punishment is doled out and the harassment progresses or gets worse over time, you should still stay safe but also acquire as much evidence as you can against the individual. The more proof you have, the more likely it is that you will have a successful claim.
First, you should go to your Human Resources representative to file a complaint. It is recommended that you do not hesitate to do this, as you will need to submit a log or fully detailed description, and after some time, the detail s could become foggy or you could fail to remember key points. However, HR is not present to ensure that workers are treated fairly – HR works for the company, and the main goal is to ensure that company is not threatened and is safe from retaliation by the employees. If your harasser were your boss, for instance, it is likely that HR will simply take his side or will not go through with any investigation or punishment. Additionally, you should make copies of the communication methods, such as emails, messages, and written complaints.
You will need a record or a journal of the sexual harassment. This journal should include the dates of the harassment, the details, the time it occurred, where it happened, who was involved, and more.
If possible, you should acquire video proof, surveillance footage, or security videos from your job. This video proof may be hard to get, though, because your job may see to it that it is destroyed or will simply refuse to turn it over if they know it will incriminate them. You could also have video evidence from your own phone, or audio recordings and photographs. Any concrete or physical proof of the harassment will benefit your case.
You will need to speak with your coworkers to get eyewitness testimonies and statements. They may have been harassed as well or they may have seen the incidents happen. They can give insights that you could not provide. However, you should be aware that getting this proof will also be hard. Many workers know that if they speak out against the company or provide evidence for a sexual harassment claim, the company could retaliate against them.
In the event that you were physically assaulted in some way, you will need to go to the doctor for medical treatment. You can keep copies of the doctor’s notes, medical receipts, prescriptions, test results, and more. It is also recommended that you report the incident to the police so that the harasser can be arrested and criminally charged.
Finally, it is necessary for you to hire a skilled sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles who can deal with your claim. You may not have any legal experience and if you try to move forward without assistance, you could simply stall or be rejected. Our attorneys can handle your case from start to finish and ensure that you are fairly compensated.
What Not To Do If You Were Sexually Harassed at Work
It is important that you do not do any of the following:
- Destroy evidence
- Fail to keep proof
- Quit your job
- Make a complaint before acquiring evidence
- Accept compensation off the books
- Wait weeks or months before gathering proof
Compensation from a Sexual Harassment Claim
The goal of our attorneys it secure you every penny you deserve if you were sexually harassed at work. We will do everything in our power to ensure that you are fairly paid and that the perpetrators are punished. You could earn the following:
- Reimbursement for lost income promotions, benefits, tips, commissions, and more if you wre illegally fired, retaliated against, or were unable to go to work for other reasons related to the incident
- Reinstatement if you were fired from your job, but many individuals opt not to return if the harassers or responsible coworkers are still employed there
- Pain and suffering damages to cover the emotional trauma, psychological suffering, fear, anxiety, and more that you suffered because of the harassment
- Changes in the workplace, such as an updated employee handbook, strict adherence to the required sexual harassment training hours required in California, termination of the responsible employees or supervisors, and more
With the help of our lawyers, you will be fairly represented against your employer. Don’t let sexual harassment rule your career and life. Let us help.
A Dedicated Los Angeles Law Firm
The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is one of the premier law firms in Los Angeles. We fully dedicate ourselves to our clients and believe that any injustice is meant to be corrected and addressed, and victims should be properly compensated. We will aggressively fight for your rightful restitution, and if we have to take your employer to court to defend you in front of a judge and jury, we will not hesitate to do so.
For a free legal consultation, contact our law offices today. All consultations totally private and confidential – none of your personal information or case details will be shared outside of our offices. We know how important it is to not be compromised. We will also tell you more about our zero fee guarantee if you hire us, which says that you will not have to pay a single expense during the case – we will cover the costs ourselves, and if we win, our money comes from the settlement we win for you. If we do not win, we o not get paid. Either way, your finances won’t be touched.
To sue your employer for sexual harassment, call the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group today.