Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, comments or conduct, and requests for sexual favors. In order for the conduct to constitute harassment, it must be unwelcome by the recipient.
Sexual harassment in the workplace has always existed, however, in recent decades it has become less and less tolerated. The victims can be male or female, and the harassers can even be of the same sex of the victim; it can happen to anyone.
In modern day society, sexual harassment in the workplace has garnered so much attention, that state and federal lawmakers now expect employers to take it seriously, though not all do.
If an employer learns about sexual harassment, but fails to put a stop to it, the employer can face a lawsuit for forcing their employee to work in such an unhealthy environment.
State & Federal Laws Prohibit Sexual Harassment
State and federal laws prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. On the state level, sexual harassment is illegal under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Under this law, the protections also cover independent contractors and those involved in professional relationships.
On the federal level, sexual harassment is forbidden under Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
Determining Who is Liable
Sexual harassment law is sweeping and covers the actions of supervisors, fellow employees, managers, and even vendors and customers. So, if you’re a victim of sexual harassment at work, can you go after your employer, or just the harasser?
Depending on the action or lack of action by the employer and harasser, the employer and their employees may be held accountable, but sexual harassment claims are typically filed against the employer.
How much is your sexual harassment claim worth? That will depend on the severity of the harassment, how good of a witness you are, and the size of your employer’s company.
No matter how good your case is, you can’t escape the fact that it comes down to the size of your employer’s pockets.
Are you being subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace? Contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC to discuss your case with a Harvard lawyer for free.