Have you been sexually harassed at work? Are you no longer comfortable
in the workplace? If you have been the victim of
sexual harassment, there are legal remedies available under the law. You should be able
to show up for work without having to worry about being harassed or discriminated against!
Sexual harassment, whether it’s from a manager, the owner of the
company, or a co-worker, can make going in to work every day a nightmare.
A victim will not just be extremely uncomfortable, they may fear for their
safety, hurting productivity, self-confidence, and morale.
Understanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act
Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are protected under the
Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which protects individuals against unlawful discrimination in
the employment and housing sectors.
The FEHA defines sexual harassment as harassment based on a person’s
sex or harassment that is sexual in nature.
Sexual harassment is an umbrella term because it can involve many types
of offensive behaviors, including but not limited to:
- Making unwanted sexual advances towards the victim
- Offering an employee work-related benefits if they perform sexual favors
- Making sexually graphic comments towards the employee
- Making derogatory jokes or comments towards the employee
- Making sexual comments about the worker’s body
- Physically touching the employee
- Blocking the victim’s movements
- Sexually assaulting the employee
- Making obscene gestures toward the employee
retaliate against the employee
Are You a Victim of Sexual Harassment?
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, your employer is required by
law to take all reasonable steps necessary to stop the situation from
continuing so long as they are aware of it.
If you reported the harassment to your employer yet they failed to resolve
it quickly and efficiently, you have every right to ensure that your employer
is held liable for their lack of concern or corrective action.
If a settlement is not reached, the case may lead to a public hearing before
the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, or to a lawsuit filed by the
DFEH on your behalf. If the Commission determines that sexual harassment
occurred, any of the following can be ordered:
- Back pay or a promotion
damages for emotional distress
- The complaining party may be hired or reinstated
- Changes in the practices or policies of the employer
Additionally, victims of sexual harassment are entitled to file a private
lawsuit in civil court once their complaint has been filed with the DFEH.
To learn more about sexual harassment,
contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC. All of our first consultations are free and we
are a no-fee, no-recovery firm.
Additional Resources & Reading