What is Considered Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Employment lawyer Los Angeles

Los Angeles, being a city with a large population, has its fair share of sexual harassment in the workplace. If you are experiencing abuse, contact an Employment Lawyer Los Angeles to defend your right to work without putting up with such bad behavior.

Recent studies show that 81% of all women have experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime with close to ¾ of the harassment instigated by a senior in their workplace. Around 72% of all sexual harassment in the workplace goes unreported.

Over the past ten years, harassment in the workplace has graduated to a major employment issue even though 98% of all workplaces have a form of corporate sexual harassment policy in place. Only around half incorporate training or new policies into the mix, however, which gives the impression that the policies are intact merely for formality.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment by definition is the unwelcome or unwanted behavior of a sexual nature that occurs in a place of work. Sexual harassment can take place in a number of circumstances and can be initiated by either males or females. According to many studies, most sexual harassment incidences target women and are instigated by men. Such is not always the case though. Same sex harassments happen all the time and women can be just as guilty as men when it comes to initiating the abuse.

What are the Legal Obligations of Workplaces?

A legal obligation is set in place at any setting where work goes on which is designed to ensure employees have a secure environment to work in which is free of all kinds of discrimination. The employee’s gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual expression are all supposed to be protected from bias under the legal obligations. Anything less is against the law.

Two Types of Sexual Harassment

Two main types of sexual harassment exist, and they are as follows:

  1. Quid Pro Quo: This type of sexual harassment describes a situation within the workplace where employment decisions are based on the acceptance or rejection of the unwelcome sexual advancements a person in a supervisory position puts on an employee. Promotions are given accordingly – contingent of the employee accepting the advances.
  2. 2. Hostile Work Environment: This kind of sexual harassment takes place when an employee is the victim of unwanted sexual conduct that affects his or her ability to function properly at work. Not feeling safe is one of the outcomes of a Hostile Work Environment. Name-calling, inappropriate touching, and obscene conversations are other examples.

Three Types of Hostile Work Environment

This kind of bad behavior can be physical, verbal, or nonverbal.

  • Physical:
    Physical sexual harassment is the easiest to pinpoint and the most difficult for the perpetrator to deny. It often includes standing or sitting unusually close, brushing against the victim, kissing, unwanted touching, sexual assault, and forced sexual intercourse.
  • Verbal:
    Unwanted and awkward comments about gender traits, the way someone dresses or act, and sexual or romantic propositions are forms of verbal abuse. Using gender slurs, requesting sexual favors, and making sexist remarks and jokes are also verbal harassment. Hostile verbal abuse can occur too such as threats and insults.
  • Nonverbal:
    Nonverbal sexual harassment comes in the form of such things as suggestive noises, suggestive whistling, obscene gestures, and sharing material that is obscene.

Sexual Harassment and California Law

If you are experiencing sexual harassment in a Los Angeles workplace, you’re protected by California law. An Employment Attorney Los Angeles can help.

In a court of law, even one single incident of inappropriate behavior of an egregious nature – like sexual assault – is considered sexual harassment. Repeated incidences are certainly not tolerated under the law. Whatever a reasonable individual would consider to be sexual harassment is typically defined as such under California law.

At work, the law is even stricter. Sometimes harassment and sexual harassment can be intertwined and even blended in with discrimination. The law doesn’t tolerate such behavior. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, an Employment Lawyer Los Angeles can defend your rights.

All employees and management should be aware of sexual harassment policies in any given workplace and should adhere to the rules. The fact is, that isn’t the reality of many businesses and corporations.

The Difference Between Sexual and Non-Sexual Harassment

Harassment is actions that regard race, age, religion, skin color, or gender. When one or more of these factors interfere with working or with advancing, it is considered harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment has sexual connotations like making advances or physical, verbal, or nonverbal insinuations or actions. Making comments about someone’s gender identity or making inappropriate gestures are examples of sexual harassment.

If You Suspect You Are a Victim of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

If you suspect you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the first thing you need to do is to report it to the person in your company who handles situations as such. Make a formal complaint. Then, file a claim with the federal Employment Opportunity Commission or California Human Rights Commissions.

After taking those steps, you may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against your employer. You may also be able to seek damages. A local lawyer who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases can help you navigate through the justice system.

Hiring Best Employment Lawyer Los Angeles

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be a touchy subject. You’ll want an Employment Law Attorney Los Angeles to represent you so your voice can be heard. Be sure the lawyer you choose is highly experienced in employment law and sexual harassment cases.

If you are looking for an expert in both employment law and sexual harassment cases, contact Point Law Group. With hundreds of successful cases, the experts bring experience and passion to fight for your rights in the workplace. Call today for a no-obligation consultation – (310) 560-0606.

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