Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a growing concern. Even employees who are not the victim of the harassment can be affected and this creates a hostile work environment for everyone. While many companies have measures in place to prevent harassment, it still happens every day.

It’s unlawful to engage in any type of harassment in the workplace. Although many people are aware of sexual harassment, there are other kinds of harassment. Harassment is not always sexual in nature. Harassment also includes making unwelcome comments or remarks about a person's gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. In sexual harassment situations there is inappropriate language or behavior of a sexual nature.

Employees and job applicants can be victims of sexual harassment. If you feel you have been sexually harassed while at work, you have a few options. You can file a complaint with the human resources department of the company, or file a complaint with DFEH (Department of Fair Employment and Housing). Another option is to pursue a lawsuit in civil court.

There are mainly two types of sexual harassment. With quid pro quo the harasser offers a promotion, salary increase or other workplace incentive in exchange for sexual favors. Another scenario is the harasser firing or demoting a subordinate for refusing sexual advances.

The second type of sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment with unwanted verbal or physical behaviors. This includes making sexual jokes, making obscene remarks about a person’s body, touching another person in inappropriate ways such a kissing or hugging, or displaying sexually explicit material in the workplace.

Although the victims of sexual harassment are predominantly women, men can also be sexually harassed. The harasser and the victim can be of the same sex or the opposite sex. The harasser can be a manager, supervisor, owner, or co-worker of the company, or someone who doesn't work for the company such as a client or customer. The laws regarding sexual harassment apply to for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, employment agencies, and local, state and federal government agencies.

Isolated incidents of careless or offensive remarks or conduct are never acceptable, but for conduct to be considered sexual harassment it has to be ongoing or frequent. If the actions of the harasser interfere with a person's job performance, or results in an intimidating work environment, or affects the victim negatively such as being fired, demoted or transferred, then that is sexual harassment and it is illegal.

Employment law Attorney’s handle all various types of sexual harassment claims made by employees or job applicants. If you or a family member has been the victim of sexual harassment or other types of harassment while in the workplace, you should talk to an attorney to learn more about your rights and protections.

Yarian & Associates have a very high success rate of helping people who have been affected in these situations. Contact us today, to set up a free consultation and to be informed of your workplace rights.


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