Sexual harassment in California is defined under the Fair Employment and
Housing Act (FEHA). Under FEHA, in order for there to be sexual harassment,
the conduct must be sexual, severe, and pervasive. The more frequent the
sexual harassment, the less severe the sexual harassment has to be. The
reason for this is that sexual harassment is based upon creating a hostile
environment. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that a single
incident (maybe other than rape) does not create a hostile environment.
For example, if the employee is continually asked on a date, and the employee
finds it offensive, asks the person to stop it and if the person does
not stop it, the accumulative effect is to create a hostile environment.
However, there is liability for a single act when the harasser offers a
benefit to the employee such as money or promotion to have sex. This is
called “Quid Pro Quo.” This means “This for that” in Latin.
It is important that the victim makes it clear to the harasser that the
conduct was unwelcomed and reports the conduct to a supervisor or to Human
Resources. If the employee does not report it, then the company is not
liable for the sexual harassment.
To discuss your case in a confidential review, contact my Los Angeles sexual
harassment law office for a
free case consultation.