Sexual harassment is detrimental to everyone in the workplace. Not only does this type of behavior impact the morale of the workforce, but more importantly, it is emotionally and psychologically devastating to the victim. At The Rager Law Firm, our attorney is standing by to help if you need a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney. We have extensive experience handling workplace sexual harassment cases, and we understand what it takes to investigate these incidents, determine liability, and help victims obtain the justice and compensation they need.
We want to be clear that sexual harassment can happen to any person in the workplace, regardless of their gender, sexuality, or gender identity. Yes, the #MeToo movement has certainly brought to light just how much sexual harassment is still a problem for women in the workforce. In fact, an NPR study shows that nearly 40% of women have experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime.
However, please do not understand this means that men do not suffer from harassment. They can, and they do. Additionally, members of the LGBTQ+ community also suffer from high rates of sexual harassment in the workplace, particularly transgender individuals.
Workplace sexual harassment takes place in many forms in Los Angeles. This includes comments, leering, and/or even more subtle forms. There are also situations where the entire workforce is permeated with sexually harassing innuendo.
Sexual harassment can be physical. In fact, physical sexual harassment is perhaps the most well-known type of harassment in the workplace and involves direct physical contact with another person. This can include:
Sexual harassment can also be non-physical. In fact, verbal and non-verbal sexual harassment is incredibly common. Verbal sexual harassment can take the form of comments:
Additionally, non-verbal sexual harassment can include intimidation tactics such as standing too close to a coworker, blocking doorways, making sexual gestures, or staring at a person.
In California, we want to look at how the law differs pertaining to sexual harassment depending on who the alleged perpetrator is. In this state, any person who has been sexually harassed by their boss or a person in a supervisory role will pursue a claim based on strict liability – the employer/company will be held liable if the harassment occurred.
However, if a person experiences sexual harassment behavior from a coworker, the employer will not necessarily be held strictly liable unless they knew about the harassment and did nothing to stop it. In these cases, though, it is possible to hold the alleged harasser personally liable, regardless of whether or not the employer knew about the harassment.
The first step that victims of sexual harassment in the workplace need to take is to alert supervisors or the human resources department about the incident(s). Victims need to request that every step be made to stop the harassment immediately. Additionally, we recommend that these requests be made in writing and that victims save a copy of any correspondence while this process is ongoing. In order for an employer to be held liable, the employer must actually be aware of the harassment and have failed to take immediate steps to rectify the situation.
Often, attorneys are contacted about sexual harassment in the workplace but realize that the claim will be difficult to pursue. That is because when we ask if the harassment victim told a supervisor and requested that the harassment stop, they often tell us that they have not taken these steps. Yes, we understand that it can be very difficult to report sexual harassment. This is often due to embarrassment or feelings of shame. However, sexual harassment victims really do need to let supervisors or human resources know about the incident so that any eventual claim can move forward.
It is important for victims of workplace sexual harassment in Los Angeles to understand that they have a limited amount of time to file these claims. We realize that it may seem harsh to try to get a person to file a claim quickly after experiencing this kind of workplace trauma, but if a deadline passes, the chance for securing justice and compensation could disappear.
There are a few deadlines that we need to make you aware of in these situations. When we look at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), we can see that the statute of limitations for filing a workplace sexual harassment claim is one year from the date of the last incident of sexual harassment. However, if a sexual harassment victim wants to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), they will only have six months from the date of the last incident to do so.
After a victim files their claim, they can request that the respective department perform an investigation into the claim, or they can request to receive an immediate “right to sue” letter. In many situations, the letter may be the best route moving forward, particularly if the incident(s) of harassment were severe.
After a person has received their right to sue letter, they will then have an additional year from the date they received the letter to file a complaint against the perpetrator and/or the employer with the California Superior Court.
If you are in a situation where you are being sexually harassed at work, do not hesitate to call The Rager Law Firm. Our team of sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles and other legal professionals will do what they can to make sure it comes to an end, or you are legally compensated for your ordeal. Give us a call today for a free consultation and let us come up with a plan of attack to remedy the wrong that has been done. The longer you wait, the more detrimental to your case it can be. Give us a call today for an appointment.
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