Sexual harassment in the workplace hasn’t vanished and continues to be recognized as a significant problem in the U.S. In fact, more than 12,000 sexual harassment claims are filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) every year. Although a sexual harassment claim can seriously damage a business’s reputation, many employers are still willing to take the risk and continue making sexual advances on their employees.
Many employees ignore and have to put up with sexual harassment at work, but others don’t. In 2011 alone, compensation from sexual harassment claims totaled more than $52 million, ruining many businesses and wrecking the reputation of hundreds of employees. But how real is sexual harassment in the workplace in Los Angeles? And what can be considered sexual harassment in California?
How real is sexual harassment at work in Los Angeles?
This past July, a female correction officer at the Southwest Detention Center in Los Angeles filed a sexual harassment lawsuit accusing male supervisors of constant sexual advances and discrimination against her and other female officers. This and hundreds of other sexual harassment claims in Los Angeles are examples of bravery that is inspirational to millions of women who face sexual harassment in the workplace on a daily basis.
In fact, a recent survey found that one in three women between the ages of 18 and 34 has been sexually harassed in the workplace. But sexual harassment against male employees is not rare in the U.S. and has been on the rise lately as well. Last month, the EEOC sued Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in federal court alleging the fast food chain allowed a female manager to make sexual advances on a male employee.
If you believe that any of your employers or employees are sexually harassing you, don’t hesitate to consult our sexual harassment attorney in Los Angeles.
Call JML Law Los Angeles offices at 818-610-8800 to determine whether or not you can sue the harasser and obtain the compensation in back and front pay as well as punitive damages.
How do you prove sexual harassment in the workplace?
While every case is unique and requires a separate and unbiased investigation (don’t ever authorize any of your company’s lawyers to investigate your case, as their opinion is most of the times biased against you to protect their company’s reputation), the EEOC defines the term sexual harassment when any of the following takes place:
- verbal harassment or propositions (derogatory comments, slurs and jokes);
- written harassment (suggestive or derogatory letters, notes or emails containing commentaries about an employee’s body and/or sexual advances);
- physical harassment (touching, slapping, physical interference or sexual assault at work, other sexual gestures);
- visual harassment (showing derogatory photographs, cartoons, posters or drawings that can include either the employee or other women portrayed as sexual objects);
- unsolicited sexual advances;
- offering to have sex in exchange for promotion, raise, bonuses or other employment benefits.
Under federal and state law in Los Angeles, the EEOC recognizes two categories of sexual harassment: (1) quid pro quo harassment and (2) harassment that creates a hostile work environment.
In the former (1) case, the victim’s position in the company depends on sexual relations or sexual advances in the workplace in order to work.
In the latter (2) case, the victim has trouble performing their duties due to experiencing (direct) or witnessing (indirect) sexual harassment in the workplace, which creates a hostile work environment.
Only an experienced sexual harassment attorney can determine whether your particular case applies to (1) quid pro quo harassment and (2) harassment that creates a hostile work environment.
Seek help from our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer today to collect evidence and file a lawsuit against the harasser. Call JML Law at 818-610-8800 or send us an email for a free initial consultation.