Sexual Harassment

Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Protecting Employees from Unwanted Sexual Advances at Work

Have you received unwanted advances from a co-worker? Perhaps a co-worker or a supervisor has been sending you inappropriate emails or making comments that make you feel uncomfortable. Whatever the case may be, being sexually harassed at work is not only unacceptable – it's illegal.

Our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys at Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP can help you take action if you believe that you have been sexually harassed at your workplace. As experienced employment law attorneys, we understand how to protect workers enduring illegal harassment.

Call us today at (213) 267-3640 to schedule a free consultation. Se habla español.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a very sensitive issue that can affect your ability to work and make it difficult for you to speak up when you feel uncomfortable. There are many different ways that a person can commit acts of sexual harassment in the workplace. Our goal is to provide the highest level of representation to men and women in all types of cases involving sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment may involve:

  • Inappropriate comments
  • Quid pro quo offers or asking for sexual favors
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual comments
  • Sexual innuendos
  • Sexual jokes about one's body
  • Sexist remarks
  • Showing pornography
  • Unwanted touching, such as unwanted neck or shoulder massages
  • Uncomfortable staring or glancing at one's body
  • Asking about one's sexual orientation
  • Asking someone out on dates repeatedly even after being rejected
  • Spreading sexual rumors about an employee

Bringing Forward a Sexual Harassment Claim

If you were subject to frequent and unwanted sexual advances or remarks that created a hostile work environment, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. You’ll also have to submit your claim to the appropriate government agency.

Filing a Complaint with Your Employer

If a co-worker, supervisor, agent of the company, or any other individual has sexually harassed you at work, record the dates of the incidents and file a complaint with your employer. Documenting the details of the harassment can help with the investigation when you file charges.

Filing a Charge with the Appropriate Agency

Before you can pursue a lawsuit against your employer, you must file a Charge of Discrimination with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Deciding which agency to file a charge with depends on the laws governing your case. In some instances, if you submit with one agency, your charge will automatically be sent to the other. Our lawyers can help you understand what laws pertain to your situation and which agency to submit a charge to.

Receiving a Right to Sue Notice

After receiving your charge, the agency will conduct an investigation and review all relevant information about your situation. When the investigation is complete, the agency will send you a right to sue notice.

You can request the notice before the agency finishes its investigation. The EEOC will send it to you only if it believes it cannot close your case within the allotted timeframe. The DFEH will send it once your request is received. If you try to move forward with a lawsuit before receiving the notice, your case will not be heard. Once you have your right to sue notice, you can file a claim against your employer.

Document Instances of Sexual Harassment

As part of your preparation for reporting, it is important to document the incidences of harassment and keep track of what takes place.

We recommend that you:

  • Collect as much detailed information as possible about each incident, including screen captures of text messages, emails, photos, notes, or cards you receive.
  • Photograph anything that is posted or public that you cannot collect as evidence if your case involves a hostile work environment (such as an offensive poster or wall graffiti). Include a date stamp or take note of when the objects were photographed.
  • Keep a journal or list of incidents of harassment including the names of those involved, names of witnesses, what happened, and where it occurred. Note how the incident affected your mental and physical well-being and if it inhibited job performance.
  • Make copies of performance reviews, evaluations, or other HR-related documents before making a complaint in case your employer seeks retaliation or tries to alter them.

When Are Employers Liable for Sexual Harassment?

Whether your employer can legally be held accountable for sexual harassment depends on the harasser’s position in the company or workplace and the kind of harassment you experienced.

If the following instances apply to your sexual harassment claim, your employer may or may not be liable:

  • The employer: If your employer directly perpetrated sexual harassment, they are directly liable for their personal conduct.
  • Immediate supervisors: The employer is strictly liable for sexual harassment perpetrated by immediate supervisors. If your supervisor or manager sexually harassed you and you informed your employer, they have a duty to stop it.
  • Coworkers and/or customers: If your harasser is or was your coworker, customer, or not someone you report(ed) to, the employer is unlikely to be held liable since these individuals are not a proxy for the employer and have no direct authority over you.
  • Quid pro quo harassment: This is strictly unlawful, even if it only happens once. This type of harassment involves an employer or supervisor offering a kickback, perk, or another incentive in exchange for sexual activity, and a negative consequence, such as being fired, if the victim refuses. If there are fewer supervisors than employees, the supervisors are easier to train and monitor.
  • Hostile work environment: If the employer is aware there was a hostile work environment that affected you, they may be held liable for their negligence if they failed to take action.

Seek Experienced Legal Counsel Today

We understand that reporting a fellow employee or even an employer for sexual harassment may seem overwhelming and confusing. Our sexual harassment attorneys in Los Angeles are here to not only guide you but to protect you from further retaliation or action. We want to help you determine what your next best step is and how to effectively approach your case.

Call us today at (213) 267-3640 to learn about our services in a free consultation. We offer Spanish speaking services and work on a contingency fee basis for your convenience.

Sexual Harassment FAQ

Experiencing workplace sexual harassment can be overwhelming. Many people are unsure what to do or who to turn to. Read on for helpful answers to some commonly asked questions about workplace sexual harassment claims.

What should employers do about sexual harassment?

It is an employer’s responsibility to foster a healthy work environment and to enforce policies that prohibit sexual harassment. Employers should have a procedure in place for filing complaints and must take appropriate corrective actions when necessary. It is also helpful to have employees and supervisors take training courses to learn how to deal with sexual harassment.

Is asking a co-worker out for a date considered sexual harassment?

Some employers have policies that prohibit intimate relationships between co-workers. If your employer does not have such a policy, then politely asking someone out for a date once would likely not be considered sexual harassment. However, repeatedly asking for a date might constitute sexual harassment.

Can my employer fire me for making a sexual harassment complaint?

It is against the law to fire an employee for filing a sexual harassment complaint. Of course, this does not mean it never happens. However, it does mean that you can take legal action against your employer for wrongfully terminating your employment. You can also take legal action against your employer if you suffered any other negative effects as a result of your sexual harassment complaint.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

If you are unsure about your rights as an employee, lost your job after filing a complaint, do not know what steps to take next, or have any other questions regarding your situation, you should consider hiring Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP to protect your rights.

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