In California, it is unlawful to harass an applicant or employee because of that person’s sex. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or comments or actions of a sexual nature may all constitute harassment.
The two most common types of sexual harassment involve either a hostile work environment, or “quid pro quo” harassment.
- Hostile Work Environment occurs when there is a certain level of harassment that has become severe and pervasive in the workplace. This could arise where a coworker or supervisor has engaged in a long pattern of jokes of a sexual nature, inappropriate and unwanted touching, sending or displaying offensive materials, or any other unwanted and offensive interactions
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment occurs when the employment relationship is conditioned on submission to the sexual harassment. For example, a supervisor could condition a promotion or raise on the employee submitting to certain sexual demands.
Sexual harassment can have serious effects on an employee’s mental health. Unfortunately, reporting sexual harassment often results in employer retaliation such as termination, reduction in hours, and intimidation to have the employee drop the complaint. It is illegal for an employer or supervisor to take a negative action against an employee for filing such a complaint.
If harassment has resulted in your termination or forced you to leave your job, you may be eligible to collect damages including lost wages and pain and suffering. KTL works closely with clients in order to fully understand what the client has gone through since their harassment. KTL understands how difficult such conversations can be. By learning our clients’ stories, we are able to act as their advocates when discussing the case.