Sexual harassment is unlawful conduct that no employee should have to endure in the workplace. Sexual harassment can make any person’s life intolerable and includes unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors and a wide range of other verbal or physical conduct. If you have been harmed by sexual harassment in the workplace, contact The Law Office of Omid Nosrati for assistance. Our experienced employment lawyers can help you fight against employers, coworkers, and others who engage in sexual harassment and take back your future.
If you believe you have suffered sexual harassment, you can document the incidents and notify your employer or human resources. Many employers have a complaint procedure that you should follow. . In addition, speaking with an experienced attorney as soon as possible can be helpful in protecting your rights. Sexual harassment claims can be extremely complex and time sensitive. Having an experienced employment attorney by your side can help.
The Law Offices of Omid Nosrati can help inform you of your legal options and help you choose the best course of action for your situation. Attorney Omid Nosrati combines powerful advocacy with his own focused knowledge of employment law gained over the course of more than 15 years of legal practice.
There are a number of state and federal laws banning sexual harassment in the workplace. The two main sources of California’s laws are the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. FEHA expressly forbids sexual harassment at work, while Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex (including pregnancy), gender, or other protected classes. Breaking any of these laws could result in employer liability for sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment can take on many forms. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is an illegal form of discrimination with serious consequences. It may take the form of requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and verbal or physical actions that affects a person’s ability to work. Sexual harassment interferes with a person’s work performance and creates a hostile work environment.
“quid pro quo” harassment occurs when an employer’s decisions regarding the status of an employee depend on his or her willingness to deal with sexual harassment. This may affect promotions, work assignments, or even the ability to keep your job. Federal law considers unwelcome sexual advances or other sexual conduct quid pro quo harassment when:
A hostile work environment claim is a broader category that applies when unwelcome sexual conduct makes your workplace offensive or intimidating. The courts may rule that requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes harassment when:
The courts may determine if conduct was hostile based on the frequency and duration of the harassment, as well as whether a supervisor or co-worker conducted it.
It can be difficult to speak up about sexual harassment. Some victims come forward months or years after the incident, or never come forward at all. We encourage all sexual harassment victims and witnesses to workplace harassment to confide in our attorneys about this issue, so we can take immediate action to remedy the situation. You typically have one year to file a state claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and 300 days to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, certain exceptions can apply, especially if you are a federal employee or an employee of another government entity. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss the applicable statute of limitations.
Many victims of sexual harassment find it hard to speak up after an incident, especially when it occurs in the workplace. If you experience sexual harassment in the workplace, you should always try to report the behavior to a superior or member of human resources as quickly as possible.
Employers have a duty to investigate any claims of sexual harassment thoroughly. All workplaces should have a procedure in place to handle these claims. If the report is true, employers should not tolerate these behaviors, no matter the circumstances.
However, some employers don’t act on complaints. An employer may neglect a harassment complaint for any of the following reasons:
Employers who do not help under these circumstances are violating your rights as an employee. This can make your employer additionally liable for sexual harassment. After you’ve reported the incident at your workplace, you can proceed to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. You can also report your employer’s lack of action at this time. These organizations will then investigate your claim and take appropriate legal action.
If the EEOC or DFEH determines that your case does qualify for sexual harassment and issues you a right to sue letter or you believe the organization didn’t take appropriate action, you will be able to file a civil lawsuit against your harasser and employer.
While you may fear that your employer will not properly investigate your sexual harassment complaint, you should still follow your workplace’s sexual harassment procedures. By filing a complaint, you can establish that you asked your employer for help and did not receive any. This evidence can help your case as you file a claim with the EEOC or DFEH and if your case proceeds to a civil lawsuit.
Because failure to act can make your employer liable for your sexual harassment claim, you may be able to recover additional damages. In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages along with emotional and physical compensation.
If your employer not only fails to help following a sexual harassment complaint, but then terminates you for reporting, you also have grounds for a wrongful termination claim. California and federal law both prohibit employers from firing employees that exercise their legal employment rights – including reporting incidents of sexual harassment. In a successful claim, you can recover lost wages, benefits, and emotional damages for wrongful termination in addition to your compensation for sexual harassment.
California law takes sexual harassment cases very seriously – and so do we. When your employer doesn’t take appropriate action, we can help you through the correct procedures so that you can protect your rights, recover compensation, and work in an environment that has your safety and comfort in mind.
Sexual harassment can vary widely depending on the situation and nature of the occurrence. It may take the form of threats, be verbal in nature, or be physical or environmental. Here are some examples:
Sexual harassment is a violation of federal civil law. A civil rights attorney can help you identify the presence of sexual harassment and file a claim with the EEOC before filing any additional charges against your employer. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation and to discuss your legal options today. The Law Office of Omid Nosrati not only has experience in working with the complexities of sexual harassment cases, we understand that these claims can be emotionally taxing to go through. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in Los Angeles, schedule a free consultation with one of our employment attorneys in Los Angeles today.