San Diego Sexual Harassment Attorney
In 1991, “Sexual Harassment” became a widely known term in the US. That was the year that Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court justice nominee, of unwanted sexual comments when she was employed by him. Even though Thomas was still sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, Hill’s allegations prompted a great deal of open debate and public interest in the topic. President George H. W. Bush reconsidered his opposition to a bill giving harassment victims the right to pursue federal damage awards, back pay, and reinstatement, and Congress-passed legislation put these protections in place. In the following year, sexual harassment complaints increased by 50%. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.
Today, allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace are taken very seriously and include a range of inappropriate and offensive behaviors, including physical harassment and unwanted advances, and verbal, non-verbal, visual, or written harassment that doesn’t involve physical contact. Examples include verbal sexual propositions, innuendoes, or comments about the employee’s body; requests for sexual favors; sexual gestures; offensive pictures depicting sexual or sexually suggestive acts; and references to the employee’s sexual habits or preferences.
Sexual Harassment is Not Only a Women’s Issue
Either a man or a woman can be a victim or a perpetrator of sexual harassment. Perpetrator and victim may be of the same sex or opposite sexes, and either or both may be heterosexual or homosexual.
The law requires that every employer must take care that the workplace is free from sexual harassment. This responsibility goes beyond simply making a statement of policy. An employer should include a statement prohibiting sexual harassment, backed up by a clearly-articulated grievance procedure and should follow that procedure to the letter.
What To Do if You’ve Been Sexually Harassed
If you have been sexually harassed on the job, and following the company’s grievance procedure has not put a stop to it, your first two steps should be to:
- Gather evidence- document any comments, messages or any treatment that is causing your workplace to become hostile. If the harasser is sending you e-mails or texts make sure to save and keep them safe.
- Report the harassment at work– According to the Supreme Court, you must report the sexual harassment with your employer (in writing or verbal) before you can sue. You should give them a chance to correct the situation and remember to report the incidents with the right person.
- File a complaint with the EEOC and California’s Office of the Labor Commissioner, a requirement before filing a lawsuit.
- Consult an attorney who handles employment matters. For more information contact our San Diego harassment lawyers at Bodell Law Group.
Hire an Experienced San Diego Sexual Harassment Attorney
The employment harassment lawyers at Bodell Law Group devote a substantial portion of their practice to protecting the rights of workers from unfair employment practices and unwarranted discrimination and harassment. The ability to work for a living is a basic human right, and it is in the interest of everyone to try to achieve a workplace characterized by respect for human dignity. We are passionate about protecting that right, and we are committed to workplace justice for all Californians. We will investigate your situation and assist you with all paperwork that you’ll need to file before initiating a lawsuit. If you’re still on the job, we will monitor your situation to make certain that no one is attempting to retaliate against you, which is illegal. The great majority of sexual harassment claims are settled out of court. Nevertheless, you want to make sure that the attorney you select has the litigation experience and skill to take your case to a jury if an agreement is not reached before trial.
Bodell Law Group will never back down from trying a case. From the day your case comes into our office, we will prepare it for trial. Whenever possible we will attempt to get an award of both compensatory and punitive damages to increase the amount of your recovery and deter the employer from allowing further sexual harassment in the future. Protect your rights. Call Bodell Law Group in San Diego today for a free case evaluation.