If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you’re not alone. Employees throughout the United States experience sexual harassment daily. In 2019, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 7,514 sexual harassment charges.
What Is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees from discrimination based on gender, color, race, religious beliefs, and national origin.
The EEOC defines sexual harassment as ‘unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of any sexual nature for which:
Submission to such conduct is made implicitly or explicitly a condition of an individual’s employment.
Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual.
Such conduct has the purpose of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, offensive, and hostile work environment ca.
What Does Sexual Harassment Look Like in the Workplace?
Unwelcome incidents and behavior at work could constitute sexual harassment in the workplace. These incidents or behavior include:
- Comments about someone’s appearance
- Questions, stories, or discussions of sexual acts
- Sexual text messages, emails, and other suggestive communication
- Derogatory comments, jokes, and slurs about sex
- Sexist comments that aren’t necessarily sexual
- Staring for too long and looking at someone up and down
- Unwanted touching and physical contacts such as back rubs, pinching, accidental brushes on parts of the body, or pats on the butt
- Following someone around
- Vulgar language or music with sexually explicit lyrics
- Display of pornography and other sexually explicit material such as posters, drawings, screensavers, or calendars
- Someone blocking your movements
- Unwanted sexual propositions
- Offer of employment and other benefits in exchange for sexual favors
- Loss of employment and other benefits based on the rejection of sexual advances
- Loss of employment or other benefits after complaining about harassment
- Rape and sexual assault
Sexual harassment is an example of civil rights violations in the workplace. Victims and perpetrators of sexual harassment can be either men or women.
What Should You Do After Being Sexually Harassed?
If you’re experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, it’s important to let your harasser know that their sexual advances, comments, emails, material, or conversations are unwelcome. If the harasser continues and you decide to complain to your employer or seek legal action, it will help your case that you made it clear from the beginning that the harasser’s conduct was unwelcome, and you asked for it to stop.
There are four things you should do to strengthen your sexual harassment case. They include:
Document every incident: Keep a record of each incident of harassment, noting comments or advances made, the time, date, and people involved. This way, if you report to your employer, you’ll be able to present a detailed account of events. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, the first thing you should be is report the incident to law enforcement. This will form part of the documentation.
Report to your employer: Inform your employer about sexual harassment incidents, as set out in the sexual harassment policy. In some cases, failure to report sexual harassment may impact your ability to pursue legal action against your employer.
File a complaint with the EEOC and DFEH: After the relevant bodies evaluate your complaint, your case may be accepted for investigation. The agencies will then require the harasser to respond to your accusations. If the harasser’s response is unsatisfactory and a violation occurred, your case will be forwarded to the legal division for mediation and a possible lawsuit.
Hire a lawyer: Hiring an employment lawyer for your case is crucial.
How Can an Employment Lawyer Help?
It’s essential to hire an experienced employment lawyer in Los Angeles for your sexual harassment case. An employment attorney Los Angeles will evaluate the potential of your case based on the evidence you present, help you gather relevant witnesses, and prepare you for your court appearance.
Are You Looking for an Orange County Employment Attorney?
At Neal-Lopez Law Group, our workplace lawyers Orange County have a track record of representing sexual harassment victims in court and obtaining successful results on behalf of the clients.
Visit our offices today or call us on (562) 269-4325 and talk to our Los Angeles employment attorney to start your sexual harassment case.