Glendale Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace can negatively affect your mental health and career. Sexual harassment victims often experience physical and psychological symptoms, such as muscle pain, anxiety, anger, stress, and loss of confidence. Victims of severe sexual harassment at work may develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and dissatisfaction in their careers and personal lives.
If you have been a victim of physical or verbal sexual harassment in your workplace, discuss your case and learn how to protect your rights with a sexual harassment lawyer at Berberian Ain LLP. We will work with you to investigate your case, file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CDR) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or seek compensation in a civil lawsuit.
What is Considered Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Sexual harassment in California encompasses unwelcome sexual advances and conduct that creates an intimidating or hostile work environment based on an employee’s sex. This definition also extends to offensive behavior based on actual or perceived gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or related medical conditions.
The federal Employment Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, including requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
California courts recognize quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment as forms of harassment. Your attorney from Berberian Ain LLP can review the facts of your case to determine whether one or both types of sexual harassment are relevant to your claim.
What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?
Supervisors and employers engage in quid pro quo harassment when they ask for or demand sexual favors in exchange for workplace perks such as bonuses. California law prohibits this behavior, making it a form of workplace harassment you can report and seek compensation for.
To prove you experienced sexual harassment, you need to show the following elements:
- You worked for, applied for, or provided services with an employer
- You experienced non-consensual sexual advances or sexually explicit physical or verbal conduct
- The harasser made favorable work benefits contingent on sexual requests
- A supervisor or agency working for the employer sexually harassed you
- You suffered harm
- The harasser’s conduct contributed significantly to your harm
Examples of sexual harassment can include:
- Sexual requests
- Inappropriate touching
- Explicit and unwarranted comments about your body and its sexual use
- Retaliation for refusing sexual advances, such as retracting a potential promotion
Sexual harassment examples also include unwanted exposure to sexually explicit jokes, videos, or pictures. For example, a co-worker continually shows you pornographic photographs or hangs a calendar with graphic images in their office.
How Does Sexual Harassment Create a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment arises when sexual harassment behaviors become pervasive or severe enough to disrupt work or change working conditions. Your claim of a hostile work environment resulting in sexual harassment must include these factors:
You faced sexual harassment due to your protected status, such as gender or sexual orientation
The harassment was severe or widespread enough to change the work environment
Your employer’s supervisors or agents knew of the harassment but failed to take corrective action
An experienced sexual harassment lawyer at Berberian Ain LLP can help establish a direct connection between the harassment you suffered and its impact on your life. Your attorney will collect evidence such as emails, witness statements, pictures, and expert testimony to demonstrate that the harassment caused your emotional distress, lost income, and other damages to help you receive restitution.
What to Do if You Experienced Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you experience workplace sexual harassment, you have the right to take action. Enlisting the help of a sexual harassment attorney from Berberian Ain LLP can be a crucial step in helping you build a strong harassment claim.
Your attorney can help you take the following steps after suffering harassment to protect your rights and seek compensation:
Gather Evidence of Sexual Harassment
Filing a successful workplace sexual harassment claim requires documenting the harassing interactions you experience. Record the date, time, location, and type of sexual harassment using a handwritten or digital journal. If harassment occurs over text messages, emails, or online chats, take screenshots and save them in a secure file.
Your lawyer from Berberian Ain LLP can assist you in proving sexual harassment by gathering evidence demonstrating a pervasive pattern of misconduct. For example, they can gather emails or text messages in which your employer states they will give you a promotion if you perform sexual favors to support your harassment claim.
Inform Your Employer of the Harassment
All employers with five or more employees in California must have an anti-harassment policy. According to the California Attorney General, your first step after experiencing workplace harassment is to follow the procedures outlined in your company’s sexual harassment policy to report the misconduct. This typically includes reporting the incident to human resources or upper management.
If you do not follow your employer’s procedures, it can impact your ability to file a harassment claim with the CRD; however, the perpetrators can still be held liable in a civil claim.
Additionally, employers have to offer sexual harassment training to help employees recognize all types of sexual harassment in the workplace based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. If your employer doesn’t have a harassment policy and fails to meet California’s sexual harassment training requirements, they can be held responsible for the harassment.
Submit a Complaint to the Appropriate State or Federal Agency
If you suffer sexual harassment at work, file your complaint online with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or by calling the communication center at (800) 884-1684. You can also file a complaint with the EEOC, called a Charge of Discrimination. You only need to submit one complaint since submitting a complaint with the CRD or the EEOC automatically cross-files with the other agency.
After your submission, the EEOC or CRD will investigate your case, and the other party must respond to your complaint. The CRD or EEOC will review their findings with you and your attorney, who can help you understand your legal options. The legal division of either the federal or state agency will mediate and possibly file a lawsuit on your behalf if your employer’s response is unsatisfactory and there is a federal or state law violation.
You also have the option to request an immediate Right to Sue notice from the CRD or EEOC. Your sexual harassment attorney from Berberian Ain LLP can assist you with filing a complaint. They can request a right-to-sue notice on your behalf and offer legal representation in the courtroom if necessary.
When you receive a right-to-sue letter from the CRD, you have up to one year to file a lawsuit. However, the EEOC requires you to begin your lawsuit within 90 days of receiving the notice.
Take Action After Workplace Sexual Harassment With Berberian Ain LLP
Sexual harassment can happen to anyone. The harasser and the victim may identify as any gender and sexual orientation. When you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, filing a complaint and seeking restitution from the perpetrators can help you get closure and pay for your damages.
Sexual harassment is a violation of California and federal law. Our law firm can help you if you’ve been victimized. Farris Ain, is one of our founding partners at Berberian Ain LLP, and is recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer. Farris understands that it is humiliating and stressful to be degraded on the job which is why he provides aggressive legal representation advocating for the rights of sexual harassment victims.
Don’t let your harasser continue to impact your quality of life, contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with Mr. Ain regarding your workplace harassment case to explore your options for filing a complaint and seeking compensation.