Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Join Forces with Our Attorney to Fight Sexual Harassment
If you face discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace, then you need to be aware of your full legal rights and how you can assert them. You might have the legal grounds to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. At Alan Burton Newman, PLC, you can join forces with a counselor well-versed in employment law. As a sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles, Mr. Newman is backed by more than 35 years of experience. He has recovered millions of dollars for clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay any legal fees unless you win your case.
Call us today at (310) 986-2792 for a free and confidential consultation of your claim.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is generally filed into two main categories:
- Hostile Environment
- Quid Pro Quo
What Constitutes a Hostile Environment?
A hostile environment is created when behavior is sexual, severe, and pervasive.
"Sexual" means that the conduct is based on sex. It does not require that the harasser seeks sexual favors, but only requires that the conduct is sexual.
"Severe" means the conduct is more than just bad manners. For example, rape is severe whereas complimenting someone on the way they look may not be considered severe. However, even bad manners when repeated enough may rise to the level of sexual harassment. The more severe the conduct, the less repetitive it must be. The less severe the conduct, the more repetitive it must be.
What Is "Quid Pro Quo"?
Quid pro quo translates to "this for that." It occurs when the harasser asks for sexual favors in return for some benefit to the victim. Unlike hostile environment, a single instance is sufficient to be legally considered sexual harassment.
What Are the Damages for Sexual Harassment?
The damages for sexual harassment may include loss of income, emotional distress, medical expenses, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees. The more severe the conduct, the greater the amount of the damages. As a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles, Mr. Newman can offer insight and legal counsel into these matters due to his wide and varied experience.
For example, Mr. Newman won a verdict for quid pro quo sexual harassment for $1.125 million for a woman with a felony. This is one of the largest verdicts for a single victim of sexual harassment in California. There have been larger jury verdicts. However, most of them have been overturned by the judge or by the appellate court as excessive. In this case, the boss threatened to tell the employer of the worker’s felony conviction unless she would have sex with him. The large verdict was due in part to the employer's human resources policy that even in the case of rape, the appropriate action would be for the harasser and the victim to sit together in the same room and work it out.
Who Is Liable for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
The harasser is liable—or responsible—for their actions. The company will be liable if the harasser acts as a supervisor, or if the company was aware of the harassment but did not protect the employee and failed to appropriately discipline the harasser. If the employer retaliates against the employee for reporting the conduct, then the employer will be liable for damages, even if the conduct was not sufficient to qualify as sexual harassment under the statute.
The company will also be liable for the conduct of its independent contractors, such as vendors like the security guard service hired to protect the employees. If the employer becomes aware of the independent contractor's conduct and does nothing to prevent it from continuing, the employer will become liable.
What Is the Difference Between Title VI & FEHA?
Both are laws against sexual harassment in workers' place of employment. Title VI is the federal law. FEHA (Fair Employment and Housing Act) is the California state law. The main difference is the federal law limits the amount of damages a victim can obtain, whereas the California law does not have these limitations.
Who Is Liable for Sexual Harassment Outside the Workplace?
Under California Civil Code 91.5, people in a position of trust are liable for sexual harassment, similar to employer/employee relationships under FEHA. These include teachers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and their employees, as well as schools, hospitals, and law offices. Under Title IX and California Educational Code §220, a school is liable for the sexual harassment of its teachers, professors, coaches, and administrators.
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