Oxnard Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Fighting for Your Employee Rights in Ventura County & Across California
Your workplace should be an environment that fosters your ability to perform your work duties free of harassment or hostility from coworkers, supervisors, customers, or others. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sexual harassment in the workplace can occur in many ways, ranging from snide comments about your body or attire to unwanted physical touching.
These kinds of inappropriate sexually-oriented workplace behaviors have become more noticeable and less tolerated due to recent events of high-profile individuals in the news outed for their harassing behaviors.
No one should have to endure any kind of sexual harassment while on the job, no matter your:
- Sexual orientation
- Or gender identity
To back this up, California law makes sexual harassment illegal. At Moss Bollinger, we stand up for the rights of California employees to be free of sexually-harassing actions of any kind in the workplace.
Such actions can cause emotional distress that can impact your job performance and make employment intolerable. With many years of successfully representing clients in sexual harassment claims against employers, our Oxnard sexual harassment attorneys can aggressively defend your employee rights through thorough case preparation leading to negotiation or litigation in court.
What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits your employer from discrimination on the basis of sex in general. When employers violate these laws, they may be liable for damages in a claim or lawsuit.
Under these laws, sexual harassment consists of two categories:
- 1) “Quid pro quo”
- 2) A hostile work environment
What Is Quid Pro Quo?
This occurs when a manager or supervisor says or implies that you must engage in some type of sexual conduct to gain some advantage on the job or to avoid some negative action. An example is when your boss suggests that you will be first in line for a promotion/pay raise if you date him or her or if you engage in some type of sexual act.
Another example could be a supervisor’s suggestion that you will lose your job if you don’t provide him or her some sexual favor. Such actions exemplify the meaning of “quid pro quo,” which is “this for that.”
This type of harassment is unlawful under California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). In fact, both the harasser and employers can be held liable for the misconduct.
In order to prove this harassment, a victim must demonstrate that:
- They were an employee, job applicant, or had a service contract with the harasser;
- That the harasser made “unwanted sexual advances” or engaged in “other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature”;
- That the “terms of employment, job benefits, or favorable working conditions were made contingent, by words or conduct” on the victim’s acceptance of the sexual advances or conduct;
- That the harasser was the victim’s supervisor or agent at the time of the harassment;
- That the victim was “harmed”; and
- That the harasser’s conduct was a “substantial factor” in causing the victim’s harm.
What Is Considered a Hostile Work Environment?
This occurs when sexual harassment by others in the workplace becomes so persistent or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment for the targeted employee. Since this involves an “environment”, the harasser(s) can be employers, supervisors, and other employees. This type of harassment can be directed at you by a coworker or anyone in the workplace as opposed to someone in a supervisory capacity. It is often so intimidating, humiliating, or stressful that it harms your ability to do your job.
The unwanted sexual behavior can include-but is not limited to-sexual advances, sexually derogatory jokes or comments, obscene messages, or physical contact like touching or groping. A supervisor and employee can be responsible for damages if they are proven to have engaged in sexual harassment, or the employer failed to act to stop the harassment.
To prove a hostile work environment, the victim must demonstrated that:
- The victim was an employee, intern, or volunteer;
- The victim was subjected to unwanted harassing conduct based on their protected status (like his or her gender);
- The harassing conduct was “severe or pervasive”;
- That a reasonable person in these circumstances would consider the workplace to be abusive or hostile;
- That the victim considered the work environment abusive or hostile;
- That the victim’s supervisor engaged in the conduct or that the employer “knew or should have known” of the conduct yet “failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action”;
- That the victim was harmed; and
- That the conduct was a “substantial factor” in causing the victim’s harm.
Call Our Oxnard Sexual Harassment Attorneys at (866) 535-2994
Sexual harassment is serious business and must be stopped. State and federal laws offer strong protection for employees who have suffered severe or pervasive sexual harassment, or who have been placed in a quid pro quo harassment situation. Contact Moss Bollinger today so that we can evaluate your claim. Our firm is dedicated to employees who want to enforce their legal rights against employer misconduct. We charge no fees up front and do not get paid unless you do. Call Moss Bollinger today at (866) 535-2994 for a free consultation or reach us online.
Various actions can be labeled sexual harassment as long as they consist of some type sexually-related unwelcome conduct.
These can include but are not limited to:
- Comments and jokes. These can be about your body or how you dress, asking personal questions of a sexual nature, discussing sexual topics or activity in your vicinity, making lewd gestures, spreading sexually-related material via email, photos, texts, or memes.
- Inappropriate touching. Any type of unwanted physical contact, such as brushing up against you, fondling, kissing, patting, or hugging may qualify as well actual criminal acts. Sexual assault or other forced acts of a sexual nature should be reported to law enforcement.
- Unwanted advances of a sexual nature. These can include someone constantly pursuing you for dates or for other types of sexual activity directly, through phone calls, texts, emails, or other means.
- Sexist behavior and comments. This includes conduct that discriminates against you based on your sex, such as treating you as a stereotype, omitting you from certain activities because of your gender, or discriminating against you because of pregnancy.
Sexual Harassers in the Workplace
It is important to understand that a person of any sex or gender identification can be a harasser as well as a victim. While it is commonly thought that women are the main target of sexual harassment by men, women can be guilty of harassing men. Same-sex harassment can also occur. Regardless of sex or gender, all sexual harassment is unlawful.