Sexual harassment in the workplace takes many forms.
The offensive conduct may be blatantly obvious or more subtle.
No matter how it occurs, no California worker should tolerate sexual harassment at work.
State and federal laws entitle you to a safe working environment, which includes freedom from fear of sexual harassment.
If you’ve been sexually harassed, contact an experienced Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer to discuss your rights.
What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment in California?
A Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney can educate you about two types of sexual harassment that can happen at work.
In many situations, it may be difficult to identify the type of sexual harassment you are experiencing.
Although the experience is traumatic, a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney works to analyze the facts of your case so you can begin your process of recovery.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
This type of sexual harassment occurs when a job benefit is specifically conditioned on submitting to unwanted sexual advances.
For example, if your supervisor requires you to engage in sexual conduct to receive some benefit from your employment.
Additionally, quid pro quo harassment may occur when a superior threatens to fire or otherwise reprimand an employee who refuses to submit to sexual advances.
Hostile Work Environment
In California, a work environment qualifies as hostile when the presence of sexual harassment is so pervasive that the victim feels abused and threatened.
A hostile work environment is a workplace where offensive conduct is severe, distracting, physically threatening, emotionally upsetting, and continuous.
Victims experiencing a hostile work environment often fear going to work.
When at work, they often find it difficult to concentrate on their tasks because of the harassment.
Additionally, a hostile work environment can be created by subjecting employees to:
- Unwanted sexual jokes or innuendo;
- Intentional invasion of personal space;
- Unsolicited messages of a sexual nature;
- Images or videos of sexual acts;
- Workplace discrimination based on sex or gender; or
- Comments about their physical appearance.
Discuss your experience with a sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles to determine if you have grounds for a sexual harassment claim.
What Can I Recover from Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Generally speaking, four types of damages may be awarded in a sexual harassment claim.
These include economic damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
Sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles can evaluate the facts of your case and assess which damages you may be able to recover.
Economic damages include those quantifiable and objective losses resulting from sexual harassment. These damages include:
- Lost wages—These damages apply when you have lost money through firing or demotion due to sexual harassment, or your refusal to submit to sexual advances.
- Back pay—This represents lost wages from the time you were fired or quit until you get a new job.
- Front pay—If your employer fires you and you are forced to take a lower-paying job, front pay allows you to recover some of the difference.
These damages represent more easily calculated losses. Your Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer will analyze the facts of your case to calculate your economic damages accurately.
Non-economic damages represent those subjective and unquantifiable losses resulting from the sexual harassment you experienced.
Sexual harassment victims often experience a myriad of emotional and psychological issues, including:
- Emotional distress,
- Marital issues,
- Depression, and
The above list represents a few examples of emotional and physical harm experienced by sexual harassment victims.
Your sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles understands the emotional stress and strain of such workplace abuse.
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the employer for, particularly egregious or outrageous behavior.
A court may award punitive damages when the facts show that an employer knew a supervisor engaged in repeated sexual harassment.
If despite this knowledge, the employer failed to take action to stop the harassment from continuing, they may be slapped with punitive damages.
Attorney’s fees are the legal costs you expended for your sexual harassment claim. When you prevail, you may be entitled to recover the attorney fees from the defendant.
Additionally, you may receive the administrative costs related to your sexual harassment lawsuit, including filing fees.
Even if you don’t go to trial, many settlements include a clause for the recovery of attorney’s fees.
Contact a California Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today
Enduring sexual harassment at work is a life-changing and emotionally traumatizing experience.
The sexual harassment lawyers at Starpoint Employment Law understand the difficulties you face.
We are well-versed in employment law and we take your rights seriously.
We pride ourselves on representing harassment victims boldly so that they get the closure and compensation they deserve. Begin the process of healing after experiencing sexual harassment.
Let us get to work for you!
Contact our experienced California employment lawyers today!