Sexual harassment can be described as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct directed at an employee because of his or her sex. The motivation for the unwelcome conduct or comments can be sexual attraction or hostility. The harassment can involve same sex harassment or harassment between a man and a woman.
1. Sexual Harassment must be unwelcome.
Inform the harasser that you do not welcome the conduct. Be polite, direct, and professional. Save any written or demonstrative evidence of the harassment.
2. Inform your employer.
While sexual harassment is unlawful, you must inform your employer of the harassing conduct to which you have been subjected. Complain to a supervisor or Human Resources. Document the complaint in writing, Always be courteous and professional. If your have an employee handbook or personnel policies, consult with those rules, policies and guidelines to determine how to proceed. Consult with an attorney to find out more about your rights and to review the manner in which you are communicating with the company.
3. Your employer’s obligation
The employer is obligated to investigate promptly and take appropriate corrective action. You should cooperate with the investigation. However, if you believe the investigation is proceeding improperly or seems accusatory towards you, you should consult with an attorney. The corrective action taken must be designed to get the harassment to stop. This may include, but does not always, terminating the individual responsible for the harassment.
4. You have rights.
You have the right to a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. Under California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act, this is recognized one of our civil rights. If you believe your employer is not protecting you from discrimination and harassment, and your work environment is interfered with or it is causing you harm, consider contacting an employment lawyer to find our more about your rights and how to proceed to make sure your rights are not violated.
Attorney V. James DeSimone is a 35+ year experienced civil rights & employment lawyer in Southern California. Jim is a Super Lawyer, Rated “Superb” by Avvo, and is a US News & World Report Best Law Firm in California.
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