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How Can You Prove Sexual Harassment in Los Angeles?

— February 14, 2022

Remember that in order to file a sexual harassment case there’s no need to prove a conduct of an explicit sexual nature.

Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination and is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  Employees in both public and private companies have the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace, but sometimes you’ll have to fight for your rights. To do that, it is advisable to seek legal counsel from experienced Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers. Depending on the circumstances, you can file a complaint or a lawsuit and you will have to prove your claims, which is not always an easy thing to do, especially if there are no witnesses to your harassment.

What are the main types of sexual harassment?

The law describes two types of sexual harassment, based on who is tormenting you.

Quid pro quo

This is the legal term used when an employee is harassed by a supervisor, manager or employer. Usually, the harasser will offer a pay raise or promotion in exchange for sexual acts. Or they may threaten you with termination if you do not comply with their demands.

You will need some seasoned California sexual harassment lawyers to prove such a case as most harassers are smart enough to make sure there are no witnesses when they make a move. If your supervisor or employer sends you sexually-explicit messages of any kind save them to your device as they can be used as corroborating evidence. Also, if you believe other employees were subjected to the same type of treatment let your lawyers know about it. If another employee testifies on your behalf they are protected against retaliation under the current state labor laws.

Hostile work environment

Workplace harassment graphic
Workplace harassment graphic; image courtesy of mohamed_hassan via Pixabay,

This refers to those situations when you are sexually harassed by one or more coworkers. Remember that in order to file a sexual harassment case there’s no need to prove a conduct of an explicit sexual nature. If you are treated differently based on your sex that still qualifies as sexual harassment. For instance, you might be excluded from certain staff meetings or assigned the most menial tasks nobody wants just because you’re a woman and your male colleagues think you’re not apt for other jobs or worthy of consideration.

In order to prove a case of hostile work environment your sexual harassment lawyers will have to show that the offensive conduct was of a pervasive nature and the mental strain you were under prevented you from performing your duties normally.

If you were subjected to physical harassment, write down all the incidents detailing what was done to you and if there were any witnesses who might be called to testify. The same goes for verbal harassment. Write down the sexually-charged jokes or comments you found offensive, even if your coworkers were not talking directly to you, but rather among themselves. If you were present in the room when they made sexist jokes or listened to a radio program or music whose content was offensive, that is still sexual harassment. 

According to the law, you should start by reporting the problem to your employers, but if this doesn’t help your lawyers will help you file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the California Department of Free Employment and Housing. 

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