Workplaces in Carlsbad, CA are supposed to be safe, inclusive, and free from any form of discrimination or intentional harm. Unfortunately, issues like sexual harassment still find their way to creep into the workplace and cause turmoil for their victims. If this has happened to you or someone you know, a Carlsbad sexual harassment lawyer can make the most out of an unsettling situation to help compensate for every wrongdoing.
Sexual harassment is a specific form of gender discrimination that, based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is illegal in the United States. It is commonly associated with unwanted sexual advances, comments, or other misconduct of a sexual nature. Acts of sexual harassment at work can happen in two different ways.
The first is quid pro quo harassment, which is when a person of authority makes employment decisions based on their employee submitting to or rejecting their sexual requests. For example, a manager might deny someone’s promotion because they rejected the manager’s sexual request.
In other instances, the inappropriate behaviors are so ingrained in the organization’s culture that they foster a hostile work environment. This is when employees might feel intimidated or scared to report any offensive conduct, as they might feel the behaviors have become such an integral part of the culture that nothing will be done if reported. They could also be fearful of being retaliated against by having their hours cut or being fired.
Hiring an attorney to deal with sexual harassment allegations at work can make a huge difference in how the issues are addressed. Working with a harassment attorney typically includes:
A: To officially establish a valid harassment claim, there are four key elements that an attorney will strive to prove. First, it needs to be clear that the behavior in question was unwelcome, with no evidence suggesting that consent was offered. Second, an attorney will demonstrate any evidence that shows how the behavior was based on their client’s protected status in the workplace, such as gender or race.
If this was pervasive enough to create an abusive work environment, this element must also be satisfied. The final element is if there is any basis for employer liability, meaning that the employer knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to address it.
A: If you believe you have been harassed at work, first take the time to document any details you can about the incidents. Include information such as the dates, times, locations, and any possible witnesses to your allegations.
Then, report the harassment to either your company’s HR department or directly to a sexual assault and abuse lawyer. Both of these support services will investigate your company’s policies, California harassment law, and the details of your accusation to recommend the next steps for advancing your case.
A: Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior that is sexual in nature and has the power to create a hostile work environment, from a culture where inappropriate comments are the norm all the way to unwanted sexual advances.
On the other hand, a sexual assault is a criminal act where one individual in power forces non-consensual sexual activity on another party. This encompasses a range of behavior, from touching without consent all the way to rape. Both sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable and should be dealt with immediately under the guidance of a harassment attorney.
A: Unlike sexual harassment and sexual assault, sexual misconduct is a broader term that covers an entire spectrum of inappropriate behaviors that might not meet the legal definitions of harassment or assault but are still considered to be sexually offensive. Some examples of sexual misconduct could be sharing explicit photos amongst colleagues in the office, making lewd gestures, or having inappropriate conversations without mutual consent.
While not all instances of sexual misconduct are legally punishable, they can still leave an intense emotional and psychological impact. It’s still advised to connect with an attorney to share your story of sexual misconduct and see what advice they have to hold an alleged abuser accountable.
If you believe you have experienced or witnessed any form of sexual harassment at work, contact The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III today. We have been dealing with the nuances of these difficult issues for years and have a track history of case wins that can help guide us to restoring justice through your own similar claim.