Adept Advocacy for Opposite Sex Hostile Work Environment Lawsuits in California

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Sexual harassment occurs all too frequently in the workplace. Despite the various laws that are in place to protect workers from these types of incidents, countless claims are filed every year in California related to hostile work environments. If your employer fails to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment, they may be held legally liable — and you might be entitled to compensation.

Being a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace can make you feel alone, scared, humiliated, and powerless. By taking legal action to hold your employer accountable, you can regain your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we provide compassionate counsel and unwavering support through every step of the legal process as we strive to obtain the justice you rightfully deserve in your case.

What is Sexual Harassment?

You shouldn’t have to go to work every day feeling anxious that you will be subjected to unwanted advances or inappropriate comments. Not only can this type of conduct in the workplace potentially cause you to lose income and suffer emotional trauma, but it is illegal under federal law and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can come in many forms. Specifically, California law recognizes two types of sexual harassment for which employers could be held liable: hostile work environment harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Hostile work environment sexual harassment can be committed by male or female coworkers, supervisors, and employers. Conduct that can constitute opposite sex hostile work environment harassment may include:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Uninvited sexual questions
  • Making sexually suggestive or lewd physical movements
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Telling unwanted sexual jokes or using innuendos
  • Displaying or distributing sexually-oriented images, photos, video, or email

To prevail in a sexual harassment claim based on the grounds of a hostile work environment, you must also have clearly communicated that the behavior is unwelcome. Additionally, the conduct must be severe — or it can be pervasive and happen repeatedly over a period of time. For instance, while an isolated offensive remark might not rise to the level of sexual harassment, a court might determine that continued and excessive remarks create a hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer or supervisor attempts to extort sexual acts for an employment benefit. Meaning “this for that” in Latin, quid pro quo sexual harassment can be express or implied. It usually involves an employer demanding sexual favors in exchange for job security, a salary increase, or a promotion. Generally, one incident is enough to support a claim for this type of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment at work can significantly interfere with job performance and productivity. In some cases, you may even feel compelled to resign. Victims of sexual harassment may suffer emotional, psychological, and physical distress that can make it very difficult to go to work everyday. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we know how devastating it can be to experience harassment in the workplace and the emotional, physical, and financial effects it can have on you. We see beyond the legal details of your case — our goal is to help ensure you recover your personal losses and reclaim your dignity.

What Can You Do About a Hostile Work Environment?

Every employee has the right to a safe working environment, and all employers have an obligation to prevent sexual harassment. If you’ve been a victim of unlawful harassment in the workplace, it’s essential to know what actions you should take to get the wrongful conduct to stop.

The first thing you should do is turn to your employee handbook to determine what internal procedures are in place to address situations such as yours. Next, you should inform your employer about the offensive behavior. Once you advise your employer about an incident concerning sexual harassment, they have a legal duty to investigate the matter. Significantly, your employer is legally prohibited from retaliating against you for reporting the violation.

It’s best to inform your employer in writing about the occurrence. Also, keep a copy of the letter for your own records. In the event that it may be necessary to file a lawsuit, this documentation could become a critical piece of evidence. It is also vital to keep a careful record of every instance of harassment — write down the date, time, and location the incident took place, and be sure to note any witnesses. Save any emails, texts, or other tangible evidence.

If you have experienced adverse physical or psychological effects as a result of workplace harassment, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Not only is obtaining the medical help you might need crucial for your health, but your medical records can be key to establishing the extent of your injuries if your case is litigated.

Hostile work environment and quid pro quo sexual harassment claims are highly nuanced and fact-specific. A skilled attorney can best advise you of the best course of action to pursue in your case and the remedies available to you. Offering adept advocacy and experienced counsel, our employment lawyers handle each case with sensitivity, discretion, and the utmost attention to detail for the best possible results.

Qualified Counsel for Opposite Sex Hostile Work Environment Lawsuits

No one deserves to be treated disrespectfully or made to feel uncomfortable by their employer, supervisor, or coworkers. Unfortunately, some employers allow inappropriate behavior to occur in the workplace or even participate in it without regard for the law or the detrimental effect it can have on employees. When this happens, it’s necessary to take a stand.

Before commencing a lawsuit, an employee who has been a victim of sexual harassment must file a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Usually, your attorney will handle this part for you, so it is important to contact a qualified attorney in a timely manner. If your claim isn’t resolved through the complaint process, you will receive a right-to-sue letter that allows you to bring your case to court.

A wide variety of damages may be awarded in a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit. If your employer is found liable for harassment, they may be required to compensate you with backpay and front pay if you were terminated or resigned. You might also be entitled to recover attorney’s fees, litigation costs, compensation for your emotional distress, and punitive damages. In addition, a court can also award reinstatement if you’d like your former job back.

At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we understand that pursuing a claim against your employer can be overwhelming, and having to relive the harassment to which you were exposed can be emotionally draining. When our attorneys are on your side, you can rest assured that you have an advocate who will provide tireless representation and won’t back down in seeking redress for the wrongs you experienced.

Contact an Experienced Southern California Employment Law Attorney

Workplace sexual harassment lawsuits can be complex, and it is paramount to have a diligent employment lawyer who can guide you through the process. Offering skillful representation and strategic advice, at Optimum Employment Lawyers, we fight to obtain full and fair compensation for clients who have been subjected to hostile work environments and sexual harassment in the workplace throughout California. Contact us to schedule a consultation.