Your Advocate In The Fight Against Workplace Harassment
Each of us deserves a work environment where we are respected and have the freedom to simply do what we were hired to do. For this and many other reasons, harassment (sexual or otherwise) cannot be tolerated in the workplace. It is toxic to workplace morale, it is distressing for victims and it is illegal under California law.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment or any other type of harassment (religious, racial, cultural, etc.), you have the power to fight back with the help of an attorney. When you contact the Law Offices of Matthew G. English, I will help you take all appropriate legal action against your harasser(s) and your employer for allowing harassment to occur.
Recognizing Signs Of Sexual Harassment
Chances are good that you’ll know sexual harassment when you experience it. But it is important to have some terms to help formally identify it. The most obvious form of sexual harassment is known as “quid pro quo,” which is a Latin term meaning “this for that.” Quid pro quo occurs when someone with authority over you offers to trade sexual favors for some sort of workplace benefit, or threatens punishment for withholding sexual favors. This is illegal, plain and simple.
The other type of harassment is known as “hostile work environment.” In the context of sexual harassment, evidence of hostile work environment could include:
- Unwelcome touching
- Unwanted comments about your appearance, your clothing, your personal life or other inappropriate topics
- Crude remarks or jokes, particularly related to sex or gender
- Inappropriate pictures or signs put up around the workplace, even as a “joke”
- Repeated requests for dates without taking no for an answer
- Someone watching pornography or viewing other inappropriate material within sight or earshot of others
If you have experienced any of these behaviors, please document them carefully, including date, time, what was done/said and who witnessed it. Demonstrating a pattern of such behavior will strengthen your case.
Other Subjects Of Harassment
If you’ve been harassed at work for any reason other than sex (such as your race, your religion, your status as an immigrant, etc.), the harassment will take the form of “hostile work environment.” The examples will be different than those above, but they will include unwanted jokes, comments, threats, insults, physical intimidation and anything similar that makes it difficult or impossible for you to remain in that environment. Note that employers are not allowed to retaliate against a worker for raising issues concerning harassment or other employment law violations. Reprimands or other forms of workplace discipline may lead involve unlawful retaliation against workers who are exercising their rights.