Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very common and serious problem that can create a hostile working environment and can make you fearful of even going to work. Keep in mind that sexual harassment can take many forms, which extend from offensive jokes to sexual assault. If you have recently been the victim of any type of sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s highly recommended that you contact our employment lawyer in Los Angeles so that we can help you better understand your legal options.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment In the Workplace?
Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur in a wide variety of different situations. Anyone in the workplace can be considered a harasser, which includes coworkers, supervisors, customers, and clients. The acts of sexual harassment can also differ substantially. For instance, an inappropriate joke with a sexual element to it could be deemed as sexual harassment if it’s directed at you. Any kind of unwanted touching may also be sexual harassment. Along with sexual assault, among the more severe forms of sexual harassment is the promise of a promotion if you perform sexual favors.
It’s also important to understand that this form of harassment doesn’t always need to be sexual in nature. For instance, teasing or making offensive comments that are based on various stereotypes could be considered sexual harassment. The same is true if you are being bullied or harassed based on your gender identity, sexual orientation, or sex. While it should be fairly easy to identify if the harassment that you endured constitutes sexual harassment, it’s recommended that you get in touch with a wage and hour attorney to help you determine if you have legal recourse. In order for an act to be designated as sexual harassment, the only thing that matters is what you believe the incident to be. If you believe that you’ve been sexually harassed, it doesn’t matter if the person who committed the act of harassment thinks that what they did was harmless. The act can still be considered harassment if you didn’t immediately object to it.
In many cases of workplace harassment, the person committing the act of sexual harassment is a supervisor, which can make it more difficult to say no or object to the harassment. If you do say no, the supervisor could fire or demote you. If this occurs, a wage and hour attorney will help you determine if a lawsuit is applicable. Once you’ve scheduled an appointment with an employment lawyer in Los Angeles, make sure that you provide them with every detail about your case. They will be able to inform you of your various legal options.
How to Properly Report Sexual Harassment
In the event that you are sexually harassed while at work, there are several things that you can do during and after the incident. The most effective way to put a stop to the initial harassment is to say no. If the sexual harassment is related to an inappropriate joke or a comment about your appearance, saying no may be enough to get the individual to stop. It’s also something that’s important if ever you decide to take legal action against the individual in question.
However, there are times when you may be too fearful to say no and are concerned for your safety. In such a situation, you can write a letter to the harasser that states that the behavior must stop, which is something that you should keep a copy of for eventual legal recourse. If you believe that the harasser will become more violent when you confront them, consider filing your complaint with a supervisor. Many businesses will have a complaint policy for sexual harassment that you could address. If your direct supervisor doesn’t provide you with the assistance you require or chooses to ignore the complaint, you could take your complaint to an executive or manager who is higher up in the chain of command.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t respond well to sexual harassment complaints. Even if you feel that your complaint will be ignored, it’s still very important that you make one before seeking legal recourse. In some cases, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit against the company unless you first used the internal complaint process. At the very least, you should file a complaint with the human resources department, which notifies the rest of the company that the harassment took place.
If you want the lawsuit that you file to be successful, it’s important that you document every aspect of your claim, which means that you need to document the harassment that’s happening to you and the actions that you’ve taken to put a stop to the harassment. If you received any offensive photos or letters, these should be kept so that copies can be made for an eventual legal case. By keeping a detailed journal of everything that happened to you, the names of the people involved, and when the incident took place, you’ll have a much stronger case if ever you file a lawsuit.
The final step that you can take to report the harassment is to complain directly to a government agency. Certain federal agencies and state fair employment offices enforce Title VII, which allows you to make a claim pertaining to sexual harassment. However, there are times when the results aren’t satisfactory, which is when you should think about filing a civil lawsuit.
Potential Compensation You Could Obtain
When you file a lawsuit pertaining to sexual harassment and receive a favorable outcome, you can gain a certain amount of financial compensation. This compensation can fall into two categories, which include compensation for lost wages and compensation for emotional pain and suffering. The lost wages pertain to back pay and front pay. In the event that you were fired or demoted because of the sexual harassment, the back pay that you could qualify for includes vacation pay, stock options, commissions, bonuses, and wages.
If you had to quit your job or lost it because of the harassment, you could be entitled to your previous position as well. However, this isn’t always possible, which is when front pay could be applicable. This type of pay is designed to compensate you for wages that you are expected to lose by not having this job for the foreseeable future. The exact duration of time that’s considered depends on a variety of factors like your age and the length of time it could take you to find a new job. Additional punitive damages may also be possible as a means of punishing the harasser for their bad behavior.
How to Find the Best Employment Lawyers In California
Here at West Coast Employment Lawyers, our attorneys have the experience needed to handle any employment issue that could arise. We have handled many sexual harassment cases in the past, which has allowed us to hone our skills and provide excellent legal representation. When you want to file a lawsuit for sexual harassment, we can guide you through every step of the lawsuit process, which extends from filling out the necessary paperwork to creating legal arguments that may be used in court.
If you are a victim of any type of sexual harassment in your workplace and are considering your legal options, get in touch with one of our attorneys at West Coast Employment Lawyers today so that we can help you determine how best to proceed with your case.