Sexual Harassment Lawyer In Los Angeles
Standing Up For The Rights Of Clients In LA County
In most states, including California, it’s unlawful to harass an employee sexually. However, countless Americans across the country still experience harassment through inappropriate touching, offensive jokes, and more. A recent study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC) revealed that one in four women and one in five men had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
Are you wondering if legal action is an available option for you? The Barkhordarian Law Firm’s sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles are available to meet with you to learn more about your situation and whether you can seek compensation in a claim. Our team has been committed to protecting employees throughout the Greater Los Angeles area who have been taken advantage of or mistreated by their employers.
Are you a victim of sexual harassment? Call Barkhordarian Law Firm today at 888-514-5112 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer!
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Both federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment. At the federal level, sexual harassment is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) considers sexual harassment as a form of employment discrimination at the state level.
Sexual harassment can include a wide range of unwanted behaviors and actions, from derogatory comments and slurs to retaliation after you’ve complained about instances of harassment.
You may have experienced sexual harassment if any of the following happened to you in the workplace:
- Unwanted touching, such as pats on the butt, pinching, or back rubs
- Discussion of sexual acts
- Rude gestures
- Presence of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or posters
- Graphic comments or invitations
- Unwanted sexual propositions
- Threats to reduce your hours or benefits if you don’t comply with sexual requests
Generally, two main forms of recognized workplace sexual harassment are quid pro quo and a hostile work environment.
What is Quid Pro Quo Harassment?
Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase that translates to “this for that” or “something for something,” implying a type of exchange. This means that quid pro quo harassment occurs when someone offers something in exchange for sexual favors, though it can also be presented as a threat to make the victim feel like they have no other choice but to accept.
Things commonly exchanged for sexual conduct or advances include your hiring, promotions, benefits, and continued employment. This type of sexual harassment is considered severe, meaning that a single incident may be enough to file a sexual harassment lawsuit.
What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment occurs when sexual harassment is pervasive or severe enough to interfere with your work or create an offensive or intimidating atmosphere. Individuals who wish to file hostile work environment claims often have to prove that they suffered some emotional distress to succeed and prove that the actions were frequent. You don’t have to be a direct target of sexual harassment to file a lawsuit for a hostile work environment.
Who is Liable for Sexual Harassment?
Under California law, an employee who is the perpetrator of the harassment is personally liable for damages to their victim regardless of whether or not their employer knew or should have known of the offending behavior.
The law is clear that employers in California can be held liable for sexual harassment committed by their employees. That said, employer liability will vary depending on who is committing the act of harassment and whether or not the harassment was reported to a supervisor or human resources.
It’s important to know that regardless of who the perpetrator is, under California law, employees can’t immediately file lawsuits as a first course of action—an administrative complaint must first be filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to get a right-to-sue notice. It is only after you receive this notice that you may file a lawsuit in court.
Sexual Harassment From a Superior
If the sexual harassment occurred at the hands of a supervisor, the employer is held strictly liable in a lawsuit. This means that your employer is responsible for your damages if they knew or should have known about the harassment or failed to take action to stop it.
Sexual Harassment From a Coworker or Other Individual
When the sexual harassment is committed by a coworker, subcontractor, customer, client, or another individual present in the victim’s place of work, the victim’s employer is liable only if it knew or should have known that the harassment was occurring. If you have found yourself in this situation, you must report the harassment to your supervisor or your employer’s human resources department in writing to preserve your legal rights.
You Are Protected Against Employer Retaliation
Many victims of sexual harassment hesitate to come forward due to fears of employer retaliation, such as being fired, demoted, reassigned, denied a promotion or raise, or having their working hours cut. Suppose you have been a victim of sexual harassment and are experiencing these fears. In that case, it is essential to know that this type of employer retaliation is illegal and that you are protected under the law against mistreatment.
If your employer has taken any negative action against you after reporting concerns of sexual harassment, call us. Our attorneys are prepared to stand by your side and fight to protect your rights.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Sexual Harassment Claim?
Victims of sexual harassment have a right to recover damages in California that compensate them for their financial and emotional losses. Some remedies we’ve acquired for clients include damages for emotional distress, hiring or reinstatement, and changes in employer policies or practices.
In some rare cases, victims can recover punitive damages if it can be proven that the employer committed an especially malicious act of discrimination, oppression, or fraud. Employers with 15 to 100 employees can face up to $50,000 in damages, while those with 500 or more employees can face damages up to $300,000. If you believe you’re a victim of sexual harassment, we can help you understand your rights.
Contact Barkhordarian Law Firm today to schedule a FREE consultation with our sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles!
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