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Workplace sexual harassment is an unfortunate occurrence that can happen to anyone. While there are laws and company regulations that help in protecting employees from sexual harassment, most of these cases go unreported either because the victim has no resources to take the employer to court or is afraid that the employer will retaliate or terminate them.
If you think you are being sexually harassed at work, which creates a hostile work environment, you should fight for your rights to stop your employer from sexually mistreating you and your co-workers. Otherwise, the cycle of maltreatment will go on and can eventually escalate to sexual abuse, assault, or rape.
Sexual harassment can take many forms: verbal, visual, or physical. You may experience verbal harassment if your employer calls you using names of a sexual nature, or tells obscene jokes or remarks about your outfit. Physical harassment can be inappropriate touches, gropes, and kisses without consent or proper reason, as well as unwelcome sexual advances. Visual harassment, on the other hand, happens when your employer or co-worker shows you pornographic magazines or internet pornography without your consent. In any of these instances of harassment, you have the right to file a claim for damages against your employer.
If you’re the victim or know someone who’s been victimized, you may be torn between seeking justice against your unjust employer and letting the harassment continue. If you want to be protected from workplace sexual harassment, your best choice is to find a competent Los Angeles sexual assault lawyer or Santa Monica sexual harassment lawyer.
Seek legal help from Mesriani Law Group’s aggressive sexual harassment attorneys who have decades of experience in litigating Los Angeles sexual harassment cases and Santa Monica sexual assault charges perpetrated in the workplace. To date, we have obtained hundreds of millions in awards for damages in favor of our employment and labor law clients.
What to Do in Case of Sexual Harassment at Work
Nobody is exempt from experiencing harassment at work, be it a man or a woman. This is especially true in cases of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace happens regardless of the size of the company or scope of the industry you are employed in.
Sexual harassment can occur anywhere, from multinational corporations, small companies, to family-owned businesses. Hence, you should be vigilant in observing your work environment for any signs of harassment, subtle or blatant sexual advances, and other inappropriate gestures done to you or your co-workers.
As an employee, there are rights that you should know about to protect yourself from ill-treatment by your employer or co-workers, which includes sexual harassment. Be aware of the types of acts constituting these workplace violations so that you are aware of what to look out for in assessing possible legal actions for any claims for damages against your employer.
How is Sexual Harassment Committed?
There are numerous ways in which abusive employers commit harassment at work. These actions can be blatant or subtle but are otherwise inappropriate for the workplace. In cases of sexual harassment, you should be able to recognize the following tell-tale signs, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Verbal Harassment – This form of harassment happens when your employer or co-worker calls you using sexually suggestive names, tells obscene jokes, or consistently comments inappropriate remarks about your outfit or your demeanor at work.
- Physical Harassment – This form of harassment occurs when your employer or co-worker touches you inappropriately, gropes you, kisses you at work for no reason at all, or find excuses to always brush any part of their body at you without any reason or justification.
- Visual Harassment – This happens when your employer or co-worker shows you pornographic magazines or internet porn, or if you catch your employer committing inappropriate or sexual acts at work.
Laws Protecting Your Rights Against Sexual Harassment
To make sure that you are protected at work from sexual harassment and other employment and labor law violations, the first thing you should do is arm yourself with the knowledge of the following laws:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects the rights of employees against harassment, sexual or otherwise. However, this law is applicable only to employers with 15 or more employees. Under this law, the employer cannot terminate, demote, deprive salary, benefits, or any other employment privileges, or deduct salary or wages to an employee. They are also not allowed to deny an applicant a job because of his or her gender. If your employer sexually harasses you and uses gender discrimination to do so, then you can also file a claim for damages using this law.
- The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects you against sexual harassment if your workplace has less than 15 employees.
- Equal Pay Act (EPA) prevents employers from withholding wages and other labor law rights from their employees in exchange for inappropriate requests and conditions. If your employer denies your fundamental labor law rights to minimum wage and other benefits to punish or coerce you into submitting to their sexual favors, then you can file a claim with the help of the EPA.
Check Out These Helpful Sexual Harassment Resources
While international movements like the #MeToo Movement have shed light on the plight of victims of sexual harassment, only survivors can truly understand the mental and emotional scars it leaves behind.
Safeguard your rights and learn what to do next if you’re the victim of workplace sexual assault:
- How to Report Sexual Harassment
- What Should You Do in Case of Inappropriate Touching at Work?
- How to Prove Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
- What is Sexual Harassment Retaliation?
- What You Need to Know About California Sexual Harassment Laws
The Latest Statistics on Sexual Assault
Despite the federal and California governments’ efforts to eradicate sexual harassment and safeguard victims, an alarmingly high number of people still experience various forms of sexual assault:
- 81% of women and 43% of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment
- 77% of women have experienced verbal sexual harassment and 51% have been sexually touched without their consent
- 34% of men have experienced verbal sexual harassment and 17% have been sexually touched without their consent
- 38% of women and 13% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace
- When victims were asked about the perceived gender of their assailant, 85% of women and 44% of men reported either one male or two or more male assailants
- 31% of female victims reported feeling anxious or depressed, and 20% of male victims reported the same symptoms
Hire Expert Employment Law Attorneys for Your Claims Today
Even if you are knowledgeable of the laws that protect you from sexual harassment, they will not be of any help if you try to negotiate your claims and reach for a settlement on your own. Your employer has the resources to hire top defense lawyers who are experts in dealing with employment cases, putting you at a disadvantage. The best thing to do is to seek help and have proper legal representation from an expert Santa Monica sexual harassment attorney to aid you in upholding your rights and obtaining the maximum compensation you deserve from the party at fault. Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Mesriani Law who have recovered over $100 million in damages for their clients.
Sexual Harassment Attorneys Serving All of California
Mesriani Law Group’s legal services for sexual harassment cases extend to victims residing in California. Our expert California sexual harassment lawyers will represent clients regardless of the severity of their claims. They are also determined to pursue even the most challenging lawsuits in order to help victims gain full compensation from their harassers.
Our firm currently serves clients across California’s various cities and counties. We work with clients from Los Angeles County, San Diego County, San Bernardino County, and their neighboring counties. Our attorneys for sexual harassment in the workplace also represent Anaheim, Burbank, Santa Monica, and other cities in the state.