Sexual Harassment

Sacramento Sexual Harassment Attorney

California & Federal Law Prohibits Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is just one type of harassment that can make a particular workplace a living nightmare for victims. Like other forms of harassment, sexual harassment can cause a decrease in productivity, a loss of morale amongst employees, and can lead to serious damages and fines for an employer who allows or encourages the behavior to occur. Victims of sexual harassment may find themselves victimized at work or away from the job. In either case, legal remedies are available to compensate you for your losses and expenses, and to punish the perpetrator and/or your employer.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment includes harassment directed against someone that is of a sexual nature, as well as harassment directed against someone because of his or her gender or her pregnancy, childbirth, or related condition.

Harassment can include visual, verbal, and/or physical actions, including:

  • Propositioning an employee for sex or making unwelcome advances
  • Offering an employee additional benefits or workplace perks in exchange for sex
  • Threatening retaliation or an adverse employment action if an employee does not respond favorably to sexual advances
  • Leering, staring, or making sexual gestures toward an employee
  • Unwelcome touching of an employee’s body when done in a sexual manner

Sexual harassment can occur at work or away from the job. An employer who invites an employee out for drinks or dinner after work and proceeds to engage in any of the behaviors identified above has committed sexual harassment just as if the harassing behavior occurred at work during work hours.

What Must an Employer Do About Sexual Harassment?

An employer that knows or should know about sexual harassment that is taking place amongst his or her employees is obligated to take action to stop the behavior.

The precise measures the employer will choose to take will, of course, depend on the specific situation, but these measures may include:

  • Additional training for all employees on sexual harassment and why it cannot be tolerated
  • Transferring the perpetrator and/or the victim to different areas of the company so that they do not have to interact
  • If the perpetrator is a supervisor, removing the victim from under the perpetrator’s supervision
  • Disciplining the perpetrator, including terminating the perpetrator’s employment if necessary

An employer who is or should be aware that sexual harassment is occurring but who chooses not to address the issue may be found liable to the victim for damages. These damages can include any lost pay, therapy costs, emotional distress, and similar losses that are attributable to the sexual harassment. In some cases, the victim may be able to recover monetary damages even if he or she did not suffer any actual damages.

In addition, an employer may not take retaliatory measures against an employee who has reported sexual harassment. This protects the employee from being demoted, assigned demeaning job duties, ordered to work overtime, or fired simply because he or she reported that he or she had been the victim of sexual harassment or had seen sexual harassment occur.

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, contact the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring right away. I will aggressively fight for your interests at every step. Call 916-443-3553 to schedule an initial consultation.