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Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment

Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Employers have a duty to prevent and promptly address instances of sexual harassment, which is a form of discrimination under California and federal law. It is illegal for employers to ignore sexual harassment and fail to take remedial steps to fix the problem.


If you faced sexual harassment at work, your employer may be liable and owe you compensation. Speak to our sexual harassment lawyers at Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP if you were affected. Call (213) 267-3640 or contact us online.


When Is My Employer 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 other 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. Beware, in these situations, they may attempt to use an affirmative defense that they took reasonable action to prevent or promptly correct the hostile work environment, and the harasser was the one who failed to follow your company’s anti-discrimination policy.

What Compensation Can I Receive from Employer Sexual Harassment Liability?

You may be entitled to a variety of damages for your ordeal, including economic damages such as compensation for lost or future wages, and other expenses. You can also be compensated for your pain and suffering, and even punitive damages, if the employer’s conduct was particularly egregious.


Looking for guidance regarding employer liability for sexual harassment? Contact us at Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP for a free case evaluationat (213) 267-3640. Se habla español.


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