Sexual Harassment Lawyers Santa Rosa, CA | Sonoma County
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is probably the most talked about form of workplace discrimination and is based on sex. Sexual harassment is defined as:
- Verbal harassment, such as epithets, derogatory comments or slurs (or repeated romantic overtures, sexual comments and jokes or prying into one’s personal affairs).
- Physical harassment, such as unwanted touching or rubbing against someone, assault and physical interference with movement or work.
- Visual harassment, such as derogatory cartoons, drawings or posters, lewd jeers or leering.
Sexual harassment in the workplace applies equally to both men and women, and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. If you are concerned for your personal safety or are afraid that an offender might become more hostile when confronted, notify a supervisor and consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Sexual Harassment And Employer Responsibility
Under certain circumstances employers can be held liable for sexual harassment. The victim must be able to show that the employer knew or should have known what was going on and failed to stop it.
This requirement doesn’t apply when the harasser is a supervisor, manager or owner. These roles typically have the power to hire, fire, promote, reward, or suspend employees.
Under those circumstances, the employer doesn’t have to have known that the sexual harassment was happening. The employer is liable regardless of knowledge or of any particular fault. This is called “strict liability”.
Forms Of Sexual Harassment
The law recognizes two distinct forms of sexual harassment. The first kind is “quid pro quo” harassment that occurs when sexual harassment is linked to the grant or denial of job benefits, such as getting or retaining a job, a favorable performance review or a promotion.
In other words, unwanted sexual advance that conditions an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors.
The other form is a “hostile work environment”, which is created when workplace conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating or offensive work environment.
If You’re A Victim Of Sexual Harassment
If you think you are the victim of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, you should immediately contact an attorney to examine your case. Many employment law claims have a short statute of limitations, which means that you are not entitled to a recovery if you wait too long.
The longer you wait the more likely it is you will not be compensated or the amount you are truly owed will be reduced. The only way to know for sure is to contact us.
Initial consultations and evaluations for employment related violations are confidential and free, so there is no cost to you to find out if you have a valid concern and are entitled to compensation.
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