People who commit sexual harassment know that it’s wrong and that they can’t do it openly. They are covert to avoid detection or suspicion. Sometimes they try to hide their tracks. Since 1995, Rubin Law Corporation has successfully represented Long Beach clients in workplace harassment lawsuits. We build your case based on evidence to help protect you, your professional reputation, and your future. Filing a sexual harassment claim requires a skilled employment law attorney, so call us today at 213-224-9568 to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is the unlawful harassment of a person, whether an applicant or an employee, because of their sex. A common misconception is that harassment must be of a sexual nature in order to file a claim. In fact, sexual harassment can be any offensive remark about a person’s sex, like making misogynistic comments. In order to file a claim for harassment, it must be illegal. Isolated incidents, simple teasing, or offhand comment are not taken seriously by the court. Harassment becomes illegal when it is so intense or incessant that it creates a hostile work environment or when it results in an adverse action against the employee, such as the victim being fired.
Harassment can be committed by a person of any gender, and victims can be any gender. The victim in the harasser can be the same sex. The harasser could be a coworker or someone in a more powerful position, like a supervisor. The harasser could also be a client, an independent contractor, or a customer.
Can Men Be Victims of Sexual Harassment?
Though the majority of sexual harassment charges filed in the fiscal year of 2017 were filed by women (83.5%), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that 16.5% of sexual harassment charges were filed by men. One in five complaints of workplace harassment is filed by men. Male victims of sexual harassment face unique challenges. They are more likely to hesitate to report sexual harassment because popular culture says that sexual harassment against men can’t be taken seriously, is not as bad as it is for women, or is something comical. But men and women have the same right to a work environment free of harassment. You do not have to put up with it regardless of your gender or sexuality.
What if I didn’t file a complaint about the sexual harassment?
Even if you do not report the harassment to your employer when it happened, it is still within your rights to take legal action against your employer. If you have experienced unwanted sexual advances, verbal or sexual acts that are physical nature, or request for sexual favors, then contact Rubin Law Corporation today. If informing your employer makes you feel unsafe, then you do not need to tell them before formally filing your charges. However, the agency that investigates your claim will be legally required to tell your employer the name of the employee who filed a charge so that your employer can respond with their reason why they did not take any action to prevent or stop the harassment. Determining the best course of action in your circumstances can be hard to do, especially if you fear retaliation. Call 213-224-9568 to speak to one of our Long Beach sexual harassment attorneys.
If you believe that you have experienced workplace harassment, then you need to file a charge with the EEOC before you can file a lawsuit with your employer. A charge can also be filed by an agency, organization, or individual on behalf of another person in order to protect that victim’s identity.
You must file your charge within 180 calendar days from the day that the discrimination harassment took place. Generally, time limits for filing a charge of the EEOC are never extended, even if you’re trying to resolve your dispute through another forum like arbitration or mediation. For harassment that took place more than once, the deadline is generally applicable to each event.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Workplace sexual harassment comes in many forms, such as
- Subtle pressure for sexual favors or overt requests
- Making jokes about sexual acts or sexual orientation
- Giving sexual compliments
- Paying excessive attention to someone or following them around
- Sharing stories about sexual experiences
- Sending unwanted suggestive emails, texts or other written communication
Physical, sexual harassment includes brushing up against a person whether by accident or on purpose, kissing and groping. Sexual harassment can also be verbal or through imagery.
The Difficulty in Proving a Sexual Harassment Claim
The burden of proof for workplace harassment is very high despite how frequently it occurs. In so many cases, the physical and sexual harassment happened in private or didn’t leave any physical evidence on the victim, such as groping. Still, you should take action if you have been victimized because it is your right, and what they did was wrong.
The evidence that you provide is critical to winning your sexual harassment lawsuit. You can help your case by documenting every instance of harassment, including who committed it, where it happened, the date and time, and if there were any witnesses. Describe what happened, what was said, and what actions they took. Chronicle what happened next in the days, weeks, or months since the first incident.
Physical evidence of sexual comments or messages is helpful in proving your case like emails, text messages, handwritten notes, and messages in programs like Slack and Microsoft Teams or another team chat app. You can also include group text messages between other coworkers if any of you confided in each other; that you experienced workplace harassment or asked for advice after enduring a harassing occurrence.
How an Attorney Can Help Victims Prove a Sexual Harassment Claim
In order to prove a claim of workplace harassment, the employee must establish:
- That he or she belongs to a protected group
- The employee was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment
- The harassment was based on the employee’s sex
- The harassment was so severe or pervasive that it altered the conditions of employment and created a discriminatorily abusive work environment
A lawyer can break down the complicated system of filing a claim and build a case for you based on evidence.
How to Tell It’s Time to Contact a Sexual Harassment Attorney
If you think that you are a victim of sexual harassment, it’s good to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. You can even talk to a lawyer before reporting your sexual harassment to human resources. Sexual harassment is distressing and warrants speaking to an attorney when the words or physical actions impact your performance, create an intimidating work environment, or are presented as a requirement of employment. If acceptance or refusal of the harassment is a condition of your employment, then call us for a free consultation so that we can determine if your case meets the criteria to qualify as a valid sexual harassment claim.
Rubin Law Corporation has been protecting the rights of employees since 1995, and we can help you with your sexual harassment claim. Contact us today at 213-224-9568 to speak to a skilled workplace sexual harassment attorney in Long Beach. We keep you up-to-date on every aspect of your case and thoroughly explain to you California employment law as it relates to your case.