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Sexual harassment in an employment environment is strictly against the law in California and across the United States. Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be a serious problem for many employees in many different workplaces. Whether you work in a bar and restaurant or as an executive in a corporate office, there is a very real chance that you might experience sexual harassment.

With the #MeToo movement bringing attention to the sexual harassment problem in the entertainment industry, more and more people in different industries are coming forward to report sexual harassment, as well. One obstacle is that many employees are not sure if what they experienced qualifies as unlawful harassment under the law, or how to go about protecting their rights. You should never hesitate to contact a legal professional who represents employees in sexual harassment cases.

What Sexual Harassment Looks Like

Each situation involving sexual harassment will be unique, and identifying harassment involves reviewing the specific facts of what happened to you. In general, there are two different categories of harassment.

Creating a hostile work environment – Harassment often comes in the form of comments, jokes, or other material regarding your sex or sexual nature that is offensive. In order for such comments to constitute unlawful harassment, they must create a hostile work environment. Some people might make an isolated comment and, usually, one comment is not enough to create a hostile environment. Instead, conduct must be persistent enough – or a single incident that is offensive enough – to make a reasonable person feel that they cannot work in such an environment. If you report such conduct to your employer and they fail to stop it, they should be liable for the harm you experienced.

Quid pro quo harassment – Quid pro quo harassment occurs when your boss or someone else with authority makes a sexual request and connects it with an employment decision. This can generally happen in one of two ways:

  • Threatening to fire you if you refuse sexual advances
  • Offering a promotion, pay raise, or another benefit for sexual conduct

This type of harassment is so serious that your employer does not need the chance to stop the conduct before liability applies. Instead, if a supervisor engages in this type of conduct, your employer should be accountable without any additional steps required from you. You should discuss possible harassment with a legal professional as soon as possible.

Speak with a Skilled California Employment Law Attorney for Assistance

No employee should ever have to deal with any type of sexual harassment at work, and you should never hesitate to learn about your options to protect your rights, your well-being, and your career. Know that the legal team at Mara Law Firm is ready to assist you, and our goal is to ensure that all employers are held fully accountable for sexual harassment and other employment law violations. If you have concerns you would like to discuss with an experienced California employment law attorney, call 619-762-2949 or contact us online today.

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