Sexual harassment at work is a serious issue faced by hundreds, if not thousands of workers every year. Harassment may come from a boss, a co-worker, a vendor, or even clients or customers, and can pose chilling and long-term consequences for its victims.
The Cifarelli Law Firm fights for the rights of those who have been sexually harassed at work. Approaching each of these cases with the absolute dedication they deserve, we have the resources, experience, and tenacity to help victims of sexual harassment get justice.
If you live in or around Los Angeles and have been sexually harassed at work, please call the Cifarelli Law Firm at 949-502-8600 to schedule a free case review today. We serve clients living in and around Orange County from our offices in Irvine.
What Constitutes Employee Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a broad term that can encompass a wide variety of behaviors. In short, sexual harassment is any action, verbal or otherwise, that denigrates or sexualizes another person based on their sex or gender. This may include generally offensive remarks about a specific sex or gender, sexual jokes, requests for sexual favors, sexual advances, and all other behaviors that are sexual in nature.
Harassment does not typically include offhanded remarks but instead repeated offenses that create a hostile work environment. Illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a hostile work environment may be the result of numerous actions, some of the most common including:
- Repeated comments about an employee’s appearance
- Open discussions of one’s sex life in front of others
- Sexist jokes or comments
- Sexually suggestive emails or texts
- Circulating sexually explicit or suggestive materials
- Hugging and all other forms of unwanted contact
In addition to the creation of a hostile work environment, Title VII explicitly prohibits Quid Pro Quo harassment. This occurs when a supervisor or superior requests sexual favors in exchange for job opportunities or advancement.
What Rights Does an Employee Have at Their Workplace?
Employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. When mistreatment occurs, they have a right to seek redress. This may be possible by going to human resources (HR), though in many hostile work environments, this action simply does not seem feasible.
When an issue is reported to HR, it is the legal responsibility of the company to investigate the claims and do everything possible to put an end to the mistreatment. When HR fails in this duty, employees have the right to take legal action and hold those responsible for creating a hostile work environment to account.
When Should You Reach Out to an Attorney When Dealing With Sexual Harassment at Work?
If you suspect you are the victim of sexual harassment, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney right away.
This can help clear up any confusion as to what constitutes harassment and help you to understand all of your rights and options.
Discussing your situation with one of the sexual harassment attorneys at the Cifarelli Law Firm can help you understand how best to discuss your experiences with HR while giving you an overview of the protections you are entitled to against retaliation and future harassment.
How Do You prove an Employee Sexual Harassment Case?
There are several ways to establish that you are being harassed, not the least of which is your own testimony. In addition, emails and texts, witness testimony, audio recordings, and other direct examples of harassment can all be used to prove mistreatment has occurred.
Proving that a work environment is hostile is not always a simple task. Having a skilled and experienced law firm on your side can be incredibly useful in helping to identify harassment and establishing a pattern of mistreatment.
At the Cifarelli Law Firm, we believe victims. We are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation into your case to identify all instances of harassment.
What if the Person Harassing Me is My Employer?
You are protected against sexual harassment in the workplace regardless of who is doing it. You are also protected against retaliation for reporting harassment.
Having an attorney on your side can help to ensure your rights are not further violated.
What Should I Bring to My Initial Consultation?
Bring any evidence that you may have of harassment. This includes emails, texts, recordings, any documentation from HR, statements from witnesses, and anything else that may help to establish your case.
It can also be helpful to write down all of your questions ahead of time and bring them with you to your first meeting. This can help ensure you receive all of the information you need to make the best decision about moving your case forward.
Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for the rights of people who have been harassed at work. When you call our office to schedule your initial consultation, we can provide you with additional information on what to bring to your first visit.
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