Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace is a very real, very big problem. Employees have a right to work in a place that does not make them feel uncomfortable. At V. James DeSimone Law, we are firm believers that taking legal action can go a long way in preventing these situations from happening to other employees in the future. If you were the victim of sexual harassment and want to seek compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or even lost wages, contact a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer at V. James DeSimone Law today to help.
Sexual harassment is illegal – not only in California but throughout the United States. Federal law has established that you have the right to employment in an environment that is free from sexual harassment, assault, or hostility. California and federal law both clearly state that sexual harassment is illegal. Oftentimes, in order to prevent sexual harassment, and educate employees regarding sexual harassment in the workplace, employers will attempt to provide sexual harassment training. But does it work?
Sexual harassment occurs in many forms, including but not limited to:
“It’s a harsh fact that sexual harassment remains pervasive… where women frequently are touched inappropriately, and subjected to sexual innuendos, threats and abhorrent promises. Powerful, egotistical men expect compliance. These men may believe they can ensure that any woman who speaks out will not only lose her job, but also her career… And government and corporations alike should start walking the walk and do everything in their power to prevent and deter sexual harassment of employees and others.”
Jim DeSimone as Quoted in Forbes
California follows federal law and prohibits sexual harassment. The State of California is governed by three sets of laws that prohibit sexual harassment:
In an effort to combat sexual harassment, many employers have tried to address the issue directly. Employee handbooks, third-party trainings, and online trainings are all ways that an employer can attempt to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Online webinars and PowerPoint presentations made by reputable companies are also used, and employees are oftentimes required to attend these sexual harassment trainings. Once the trainings are completed, an employer may feel that they have done their best to ensure that the workers have been educated and that their work environment should be free from any kind of sexual harassment.
Employer Liability – Employers likely continue to offer these workplace sexual harassment trainings as evidence that they have done everything they can to minimize the possibility of sexual harassment complaints in their workplace. Additionally, an employer is attempting to minimize their exposure to any kind of legal liability. However, this may be the exact reason that training often do not work. They may be focused on the legal ramifications of sexual harassment, rather than actually combating and eliminating the problem.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded in a 2016 comprehensive report that sexual harassment trainings usually fail because they are “too focused on simply avoiding legal liability.”
When it comes to sexual harassment cases, multiple parties can be held accountable. For instance, maybe it is the employer who is making unwanted advances on an employee or promising a promotion for sexual favors. Maybe one employee is trying to touch another coworker inappropriately. Even in this example, if the employer is aware of the harassment but does not take the proper stops to put an end to it, both individuals can be found responsible. Our team has over 30 years of experience and a deep knowledge regarding the various rights of employees. We know that sexual harassment cases can be difficult and emotionally draining. It is our goal to stand by your side and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and seek compensation for any damages done.
Keep a log of all comments or incidents and do not show it to anyone until you have a lawyer review it, if possible. Make clear the conduct is unwelcome. Don’t say, write, text, post or tweet anything that could be interpreted that you welcome the harassing conduct. Additionally, you may wish to do the following:
It’s important to make it direct and to the point outlining the conduct which you believe is offensive. Always emphasize how much you value your job and just want to be able to do the best job you can for the company. Ask for the company to investigate and take appropriate corrective action.
Make sure you do the best job you can and don’t violate any rules which would give the company an excuse to fire you.
For sexual harassment to create a hostile work environment, the harassing conduct must:
Nearly everyone has encountered hostility and/or harassment at work at some point. This may come from the boss or from a coworker. While this can be stressful, it is not always necessarily illegal. However, “harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted)” as stated by the EEOC.
If you need to talk to a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles regarding your specific situation, we urge you to call V. James DeSimone Law today and schedule a consultation. Our intake team will meet with you personally to discuss the specific circumstances of your matter, and also how we might be able to assist you. Our intake team takes the time needed and special care with each new potential client to determine if, and how we can help.
We have achieved multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts in the past due to our tenacious advocacy in and out of the courtroom. When your rights are violated, you can count on our team to be there for you. We are commitment to justice in every case we handle. You’re not alone in this. Our firm is here to help. Our sexual harassment attorneys in Los Angeles serve Orange County, San Bernardino & Riverside County and Southern California.
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