You may be asking yourself what your legal rights are when you have been sexually harassed at work. At the Marcarian Law Firm, we have the answers, as we have won a large number of cases that involved sexual harassment and discrimination.
We know that if you are asking those types of questions, you may be experiencing unacceptable behavior in your workplaces, such as rude or offensive language or jokes, inappropriate touching, photos, e-mails, social media comments, or overly persistent requests for dates. It could even mean going as far as superior demanding sex for employment benefits, like a promotion or a raise, which is quid pro quo harassment.
Our Woodland Hills sexual harassment attorneys will help guide you through any legal advice you may need to determine if you have a case.
We want our clients to keep in mind that an employee victim of sexual harassment can be male or female, as well as can the harasser. With that said, regardless of gender, often an employee who is sexually harassed at work is afraid to report it out of fear of being fired, demoted, or just the overall treatment or hostility he or she may experience from co-workers after a report has been filed.
California state law protects victims of sexual harassment – especially when it comes to the timing of termination or retaliation that occurs if an employee resists the inappropriate activity. Even light touching of certain body parts is considered sexual battery. Further, it is possible for employers to be directly responsible for the inappropriate actions of supervisors, managers, or other co-workers they oversee if the harassment incident results in employment action by the employer. They are also responsible if they have knowledge of the harassment and do not take prompt and proper action.
Before January 1, 2020, it was California law that an employee or former employee needed to file a sexual harassment claim within one year. But now, the state government realizes that time limitation was not realistic because it takes courage, time, and support to come forward. Also, sometimes it takes more time for victims to realize there have been other victims of the same harasser to validate a pattern.
To combat that former time limit, AB 9 was signed into California law to allow more time for employees alleging sexual harassment in the workplace to mentally and/or physically heal from the violation before filing a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within three years. (This applies to harassment incidents that took place after January 1, 2020.) The employee must then receive a right-to-sue letter from the DFEH before filing a lawsuit; after they receive this letter, the employee has one year to file.
Prior to 2019, isolated incidents sexual in nature were usually not enough to be considered on the level of sexual harassment – even if the employee experienced these incidents over multiple years. But recent laws made in California declare that a single incident is sufficient to create a case if the harassing behavior interferes with the victim’s work performance to create a hostile working environment.
Our team of Woodland Hills sexual harassment attorneys at the Marcarian Law Firm is here to listen to you, help you tell your story, and hold the harasser accountable during this extremely difficult time of loss. You were brave enough to make the first step. we will take care of the rest and take care of you. You can contact us by clicking here or calling 818-995-8787 or 800-924-3784.