Sexual Harassment

The MeToo movement has drawn an outpouring of testimony by victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse whose collective stories have shown that sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a persistent problem. Fortunately, we live in a state that has strong protections for workers who experience sexual harassment.

Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney Afshin Mozaffari has a comprehensive understanding of California employment law and can provide guidance to you about how the law protects you.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination. Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. To be actionable, the harassment must be unwelcome, must be severe or pervasive, and must be because of the employee’s gender or sex.

Harassment can occur in the workplace in two primary forms: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when, for example, you are offered something of value in exchange for sexual favors. This could be a promotion, or even assurances that you will not be terminated. By contrast, hostile work environment harassment occurs when you are subjected to hostile working conditions that in some way prevent you from being able to do your job.

Is Sexual Harassment Limited to Female Victims?

Although we generally think women are most often the victims of sexual harassment, men can be victims as well. The law recognizes that both men and women can be discriminated against and harassed and that someone of the same or opposite sex can discriminate against or harass you because of your sex or gender.

Additionally, as with discrimination, the law protects employees from being harassed because of the employee’s race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability/medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, and military or veteran status.

What Other Sexual Harassment Protections Are Available to California Workers?

California law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide harassment training at least once every two years. Supervisors must receive training within six months of being hired or being promoted to supervisor. Employers are also required to take steps to prevent workplace harassment and are required to investigate harassment complaints promptly and thoroughly.

Notably, unlike many employment claims, anti-harassment rules apply to small employers and to independent contractors as well as employees. In addition, harassment by your coworkers may also be actionable.

As with discrimination cases, harassment claims can be difficult to prove, and getting help from a skilled and experienced attorney is important. Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney Afshin Mozaffari is experienced with these types of cases and can guide you through the process of taking action against your employer. If you believe you are being subjected to unlawful sexual harassment, contact Mozaffari Law at 323.696.0702 or for a confidential consultation.