No one should have to experience the humiliation of unwanted sexual advances and touches in the workplace. Unfortunately, some employers engage in this type of degrading behavior or simply ignore it when it occurs. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment, unwanted advances, or unwelcome touches in your place of employment, you may be able to take legal action.
Facing unwanted sexual advances by an employer or co-worker can affect you emotionally and economically. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we help victims of workplace sexual harassment regain their sense of dignity and recover the financial damages they may have sustained due to their employer’s wrongful conduct. Offering high-quality legal services, compassionate counsel, and adept representation, we won’t back down until justice is obtained in your case.
Unwanted sexual advances in the workplace are a form of sexual harassment prohibited under both federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. But there’s no specific definition of what constitutes a sexual advance in the workplace. Rather, sexual harassment and sexual advances can include a wide range of conduct.
The following may be considered unwanted sexual advances resulting in a claim for sexual harassment:
Although there is no clear cut standard recognized by the courts as to when a sexual advance in the workplace is legally actionable, it’s crucial for employers to take remedial measures if they know — or should know — that such conduct is occurring. Failure to do so can result in their liability.
Specifically, under California law, two types of sexual harassment are recognized: “quid pro quo” and “hostile work environment.” Sexual advances may be considered “quid pro quo” harassment when your hiring, promotion, or continued employment is conditioned upon a threat or your compliance with an employer’s inappropriate requests. Since this type of conduct is severe, one occurrence would usually be sufficient to bring a lawsuit.
When a claim is based on a hostile work environment, a court will evaluate whether the offensive behavior was so pervasive or severe that it created an intimidating environment. Both objective and subjective criteria are typically applied in these types of cases. Handling every case with discretion and skill, the employment attorneys at Optimum Employment Lawyers will carefully investigate your case and work to achieve the justice to which you are entitled.
Inappropriate physical touching is one of the most obvious types of sexual harassment. In addition, these types of claims tend to be more easily proven than verbal harassment — and just one instance can be considered severe enough to rise to the level of harassment. Both men and women can be subjected to unwanted touching in the workplace, whether it occurs between members of the same sex or opposite sex.
Unwanted physical touching doesn’t always have to be an overt sexual advance. For example, hugging, kissing, back rubbing, or placing a hand on someone’s shoulder may all be types of physical contact that is unwelcome in the working environment. These types of actions may be considered inappropriate, as well as demeaning, humiliating, and offensive. Our lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and acumen necessary to hold your employer accountable for their wrongful actions, or inaction.
No one should be made to feel uncomfortable or humiliated in the workplace. If you were forced to endure sexual harassment — whether verbal or physical — you may be able to take legal action against your employer. However, you generally will need to file an administrative complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing before you can bring your case into court. If your case cannot be resolved through the administrative process, you can move forward with pursuing a lawsuit.
A wide variety of damages may be available for unwanted sexual advances and touching in the workplace, based on the facts of your case. If you were terminated or demoted because you would not submit to an employer’s advances or inappropriate requests, you may be entitled to back pay, front pay, injunctive relief, or reinstatement to your job. You may also be able to recover pain and suffering damages, and punitive damages in some cases. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we strive to secure the maximum amount of compensation you can receive under the law.
Unwanted sexual advances and physical touching in the workplace can have both personal and professional effects. Not only can you suffer loss of income, but also from the psychological impact of the degradation you experienced due to the harassment. An experienced employment lawyer can work to ensure you obtain the monetary recovery and justice you deserve. Optimum Employment Lawyers provides honest counsel and responsive representation for a wide variety of employment matters in California, including claims involving unwanted sexual advances and touching. Contact us at (949) 954-8181 to schedule a consultation.