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California Employee's Guide to Handling Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

How To Address California Sexual Harassment In The Workplace Claims

Sexual harassment could create an uncomfortable working environment that inhibits victims from performing their job. In addition, the emotional and mental effects on these victims can also be worrying. So, if you're a victim of California sexual harassment in the workplace, you need to address them ASAP.

That said, not many people know they have many options to address it. So, here's a brief guide to California sexual harassment and your possible options, as advised by a prescreened sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles.

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What Is California Sexual Harassment Law?

California Sexual Harassment Law considers sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. Any physical and verbal conduct of a sexual nature is considered harassment. However, the definition has been extended to gender-based harassment and discrimination, regardless of whether the intention had been sexual or not.

However, this shouldn't deter male victims from taking action. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone, so you need to make a move the moment you spot the signs.

What To Do If I Was Sexually Harassed At Work?

Sexual harassment is prohibited by federal and state legislation. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. This law makes private employers, most public employers, labor unions, and employment agencies responsible for preventing or stopping sexual harassment in the workplace.

According to the law, employers must take reasonable steps to avoid sexual harassment and stop it whenever they become aware of it. Hence, reporting sexual harassment in the workplace is crucial to ensure your case is addressed as soon as possible.

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Employees in California are protected against sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The FEHA covers private and governmental employers, labor unions, and employment agencies, just like Title VII. State licensing bodies, state and municipal governments, and contract employers are all covered by the FEHA.

Sexual harassment victims have recourse under the legislation. A harassed employee may file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages, job restoration, or an injunction requiring the firm to amend its sexual harassment practices. Before bringing a sexual harassment lawsuit in California, an employee must first submit a complaint with the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

How To Report Harassment At Work In California?

Our prescreened sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles advise you to take up your case within your company or establishment. So, if you've experienced sexual harassment at work in California, report it to your employer or your HR department.

If they refuse to take action or your work superiors are the reason for your sexual harassment, you should submit a complaint to the appropriate agencies.

In California, an employee has 300 days to register a complaint with the EEOC after an act of harassment and one year to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing after an act of harassment.

Your California workplace sexual harassment lawyer will ensure you meet these deadlines and have the proper paperwork and requirements ready for you.

What Are The Examples Of Workplace Harassment In The Workplace?

Unwanted physical touch and verbal harassment can be considered workplace harassment in California. This may include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Touching

  • Groping

  • Stalking

  • Regular sexual comments

  • Sexual propositions

  • Pressuring people to go on a date

  • Showing people sexual images/videos

If you're unsure whether your case qualifies, contact a prescreened Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer.

Who is Liable for California Sexual Harassment Claims?

Employers can be held responsible in addition to the person who did the wrong. This depends on the position and the severity of the claims. But the employer is more responsible if the harassment has been reported and they choose to ignore it.

Remember, employers are responsible for preventing and addressing any harassment in the workplace. If they deliberately trivialize or ignore your reports, you'll have enough grounds to seek out a Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer.

There are several ways you can address sexual harassment in the workplace, including:

  • If you have a sexual harassment policy, follow the guidelines and report it to the people in charge. The ones who handle these issues are often working in HR.

  • Report it to your boss. Again your employer has the responsibility to address the actions of sexual harassment. However, if they choose to ignore it, you should contact your Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer and consult them on how to file sexual harassment lawsuit.

  • Contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). They are in charge of ensuring anti-harassment and discrimination laws are appropriately implemented in California.

    • They'll investigate your claims to determine whether civil violations have been made. They'll offer to file a sexual harassment lawsuit in California for you if they do.

  • The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They function much like the DFEH, except they are in charge of the federal laws regarding sexual harassment protection.

  • Contact a California lawyer for sexual harassment in the workplace. The DFEH or the EEOC might not take your case. However, you can still request "permission to sue". After which, you and your California lawyer for sexual harassment will be able to pursue claims independently.

As there are many options, the only thing left for you to do is to collect evidence to help you build a solid case. So document, find paperwork, and work out all the possible proof to show you have suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace.

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