Sexual Harassment in The Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace has been an issue for many years, and V. James DeSimone has been involved with some landmark cases. With recent accounts of Hollywood icons and political representatives engaging in blatant sexual harassment, individuals are finally being forced to be held accountable for their actions. Although it’s a positive move towards justice, there are still many industries and workplaces where sex harassment occurs and retaliation follows. In this article, we’ll discuss the various ways in which sexual misconduct can be seen in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment Laws – California

The definition of sexual harassment is defined in two categories, according to California law.

  • Quid Pro Quo – Which refers to situations in which a supervisor uses their position to offer better terms of employment and employment perks in exchange for an employee’s allowance of unwanted sexual advances. Tangible loss of job benefits is not necessary to state a claim.
  • Hostile Work Environment – Which refers to what could be considered an abusive environment that is the result of the unwelcome and inappropriate sexual conduct of one or more employees. The misconduct in question does not necessarily refer to direct sexual advances.
    Because job types vary in numerous ways, here is a list that contains examples of some of the most common types of sexual misconduct behaviors that occur in a work setting.

Examples of Common Acts of Sexual Misconduct in The Workplace

  • Sending suggestive emails or other communications
  • Suggestive staring, whistling, or making inappropriate gestures
  • Sending or sharing pornographic images or videos with coworkers
  • Inappropriate sexual imagery displayed anywhere in a workplace
  • Asking of questions which are sexual in nature, including questions about sexual preferences or orientation
  • Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, including patting or pinching, as well as intentional body contact
  • Telling stories or jokes that are sexual in content
  • Pressure to see the person outside the workplace or asking on dates.
  • Using terms of a sexual nature in a hostile fashion in the workplace.

It is up to Management to make sure that positive, permanent changes and improvements are made in the way sexual misconduct is handled at the workplace. One way to do this is to vigorously investigate sexual misconduct allegations immediately, once reported. The employer has the obligation to take appropriate corrective action, including possible termination of the harasser. If Management and your employer are indifferent or do not take appropriate action, they may be considered complicit and liable if the behavior continues or if there is further retaliation.

If you believe you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you may have grounds for a harassment lawsuit. An experienced employment law attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your options. At V. James DeSimone Law, we work diligently on behalf of clients whose workplace rights have been violated. Call us now to schedule a consultation at 310-693-5561

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