Sexual Harassment

Everyone deserves to go to work in a safe and supportive environment.

Everyone is entitled to a workplace that is free of sexual harassment and discrimination. California law also protects employees against harassment because of their gender, gender presentation or identity, or sexual orientation. California law also prohibits sexual harassment in business, service, or professional relationships – not just the workplace.

This includes sexual harassment by doctors, attorneys, investors, landlords, bankers, teachers, elected officials, and others.

What Types Of Sexual Harassment Are There?

Sexual harassment does not necessarily have to involve sex or sexual acts. It can include behaviors such as teasing, intimidation or offensive comments based on stereotypes such as how certain people should act. It could also include bullying someone or a group of employees based on their sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. There are two types of sexual harassment:

Quid pro quo: This type of sexual harassment occurs when it is stated or implied that an employment decision depends on whether the employee submits to conduct of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo sexual harassment also occurs when it is stated or implied that an employee must submit to conduct of a sexual nature in order to continue employment. So, for example, if an employee is made to believe that a promotion or training opportunity is likely if he or she goes on a date with the supervisor or agrees to perform a sexual act, the employee is very likely being subjected to quid pro quo sexual harassment. “Quid pro quo” is a phrase that means “this for that.”

Hostile work environment: Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working environment that is severe, persistent and pervasive so much so that it affects the employee’s ability to fulfill job duties effectively. It’s not necessary that the harasser is a person of authority. Sometimes, the harasser could be a peer.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is separated from general harassment and is defined by unwanted sexual advances (either verbal or physical) and quid pro quo (or the exchange of sexual favors for some sort of employment decision).

The following types of verbal or physical conduct can constitute sexual harassment:

Anyone Can Be A Victim

Sexual harassment can occur to anyone in any type of workplace. Although sexual harassment victims are often thought of as female, anybody can be a victim regardless of his or her gender.

Employers have a responsibility to be proactive and train their employees on the dangers and consequences of sexual harassment. They should also have a sexual harassment policy in place that clearly states how employees should report inappropriate behavior and how every claim will be investigated.

Sexual harassment can be emotionally taxing, so you should never handle a sexual harassment lawsuit without the help of an experienced employment law attorney. The Gutierrez Law Firm can help you seek justice against your employer without affecting your career. We understand the sensitivity of sexual harassment cases and strongly encourage you to consult with us sooner rather than later, and inquire about the legal process and our commitment to protect our clients’ identity and dignity.