People who endure sexual harassment at work are not limited to women. Men may be the subject of sexual harassment in a variety of ways too. Sexual or gender discrimination in the workplace may be perpetrated by males and females. Additionally, harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or appearance may qualify as sexual harassment.
California employment discrimination law expressly prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. It protects employees against harassment and provides for legal action to stop, prevent and punish it. California law also allows employees to sue for damages and emotional distress.
Sexual harassment gains special treatment under the law, and you should consult with a highly qualified lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases before proceeding with any legal action.
Have you been sexually harassed at work? Has your employer not been helpful or successful in stopping the harassment? Are you scared to discuss the issue directly with your employer?
You should speak to a lawyer before filing a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to learn about your rights.
Types Of Sexual Harassment
- Hostile work environment — Examples include employment discrimination; threats; leering looks; offensive gestures; derogatory posters or drawings; derogatory comments; stalking; and verbal, physical or psychological abuse.
- Physical harassment at work — Examples include inappropriate touching or grabbing; forced wearing of demeaning sexual clothing; sexual abuse; sexual relationship with supervisor or manager; unwanted sexual advances; offensive gestures and quid pro quo harassment.
- Verbal abuse in the workplace — Examples include threats; unwanted sexual advances or propositions; slurs and derogatory or degrading comments; and obscene letters, emails, notes or invitations.
- Manager-employee harassment — Managers may take advantage of their position of authority by trying to initiate a sexual relationship or sexually harassing you with unwanted touching, comments or gestures.
- Employee-employee harassment — This could include any of the above types of harassment. Your employer has certain obligations to prevent and stop harassment from occurring.
- Harassment for men — According to the EEOC, nearly 18 percent of claims filed in 2012 were filed by males. No matter how masculine, strong or invincible men may seem, they can also be harassed. Homosexual men may be at greater risk of sexual harassment.
- Harassment for women — Studies show that between 40 and 90 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Nearly every woman has a story about being the object of sexual harassment.
- Same-sex sexual harassment — Men can harass men, and women can harass women. You do not have to put up with inappropriate actions.
- Gender discrimination at work — Also referred to as "sex" discrimination, it is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The law prohibits all discrimination, including hiring, termination, and terms and conditions for employment.
Free Consultation — Contact An Experienced Lawyer
The workplace harassment lawyers of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, serve clients throughout Northern and Southern California. For a free consultation, call us today at (510) 433-1000 or contact us online. We pursue all cases on a contingency fee basis.