There is no question that sexual harassment breeds a hostile work environment. Fortunately, as an employee in California, you have the right to protect yourself, your job, and your future. Many new laws exist to promote a healthy work environment, including revised sexual harassment training requirements and amended limits on non-disclosure agreements.
A good employer will have established formal policies about sexual harassment in the workplace. However, because instances of sexual harassment often go undetected, especially when they occur via subtle comments and actions, every employee must be willing to speak up when they witness a situation.
What Is Considered Sexual Harassment?
- Unwelcome rewards in the workplace based on sexual favors
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Retaliation for rejecting said sexual advances
- Propositions for sexual favors
- Derogatory jokes and sexual verbiage
- Sexual gestures, leering, or displaying suggestive objects or pictures
- Verbal abuse including comments about a person’s body
- Sexual orientation discrimination
What Can You Do If a Coworker Is Sexually Harassing You?
You can take several steps immediately if you’ve been put into an uncomfortable situation at work and believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. For starters, always keep a history of related actions in writing.
You may choose to file a claim within the company, but the process can vary based on the structure and size of your organization. Review your company’s policy on sexual harassment in the workplace to ensure your claims comply. You can take the matter to your direct supervisor, or directly to Human Resources. Be clear about the situation, and advocate for your rights.
If you are ever in a life-threatening situation with a harasser, call 911 immediately.
How Do You File a Sexual Harassment Complaint?
If you’re preparing to file a sexual harassment case within your company, consider consulting with a sexual harassment attorney who specializes in these issues before you meet with your superior or HR. The knowledgeable team at our law offices can validate concerns, as well as help you position your issues to effectively protect yourself and your rights as an employee. If this is not your first attempt to mediate a sexual harassment situation and you’ve been given an NDA by an employer, bring that to your lawyer as well.
You can opt to allow lawyers to address your concerns and present counterarguments on your behalf.
California laws, including the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), are designed to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Our team of employment attorneys will help you navigate the process of filing a claim and taking action against a hostile workplace.
Contact HKM Today
If you’re in Southern California and the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault, contact the sexual harassment lawyers of HKM Employment Attorneys in San Diego.
Our law firm will help employees understand local and federal employment laws in a number of practice areas. We’re ready to tackle any employment-related cases, from discrimination to wrongful termination. Remember: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits all employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.