If You Think There’s Nothing You Can Do To Stop Harassment At Work, Think Again
Many sexual harassment cases have a common theme: Affected workers are subjected to repeated – perhaps even daily – instances of offensive behavior but may be afraid to take a stand because they are outnumbered or told that reporting the harassment will only make things worse for them. Employers may be indifferent to this type of behavior, and what’s worse, may even encourage it.
When colleagues and even your employer aren’t on your side, the law still is, and I, attorney Frank Nicholas am, too. During a more than four-decade legal career, I have helped clients in Orange County and throughout Southern California take on improper and illegal behavior and put a stop to it. When my clients have suffered financial impacts from harassment, I have fought to see that they are fairly compensated for those injuries as well. You do have options to fight sexual harassment in the workplace, and I can show you how at Frank Nicholas, A Law Corporation.
Don’t worry about your employer finding out that you’re looking into legal help. Your meetings with me will be completely confidential, and what’s more, it is illegal for employers to punish employees who speak with lawyers to learn more about their rights to harassment-free work environments.
Learn How The Law Protects You
In California, both state and federal laws protect workers from actions and behaviors that constitute sexual harassment. These include the following:
- Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is considered to be a form of illegal sex discrimination. Any employer, whether public or private, with more than 15 workers can be held liable for sexual harassment under this law.
- California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act also prohibits sexual harassment by employers in the state. We have more expansive laws that also cover sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression under the definition of harassment.
So, what does sexual harassment look like? It’s important to know what harassment is – and isn’t – because so many workers are made to feel that they simply “can’t take a joke” or that speaking up is only going to make things worse. Below are just some of the examples of inappropriate behavior that can constitute workplace sexual harassment:
- Making repeated disparaging or otherwise offensive comments about a worker because of their sex
- Engaging in lewd, inappropriate conversations of a sexual nature
- Posting sexually provocative imagery and/or text in common areas like break rooms or encouraging employees to share inappropriate material at their workstations
Even if you’re not a direct target of harassing behavior, you may still have a claim if the behavior creates a hostile work environment. Also, you are entitled to take legal action regardless of whether you’ve suffered financial injury as a result.