Sexual Harassment Claim in California

It is an established fact that harassment is an employment issue that continues to linger in a lot of workplaces not just in California, but also in other states in the U.S. One of the many forms of this, which is sexual harassment, is considered as the most common, with tens of thousands of claims and lawsuits rapidly emerging every year. This just goes to show how a lot of companies fail to take immediate action to the complaints of the victims. Also, aggrieved employees who suffered a great deal both emotionally and financially are being paid millions of dollars in compensation for what happened to them. Indeed, sexual harassment can be both detrimental to both parties; employees suffer a lot while employers face lawsuits that are downright expensive and disruptive to their business operations.

Basically, sexual harassment involves any unwelcome behavior done to an individual that is sexual and nature and occurs within a workplace setup. It affects men and women, regardless if they heterosexual or homosexual. Sexual harassment in California, as defined by both state and federal law, can be considered either “quid pro quo” or severe sexual harassment resulting in a hostile working environment.

“Quid pro quo” in Latin means “this for that.” Notably the type of sexual harassment that is widely considered by most people as the most common, it involves any authority in the workplace—boss, manager, supervisor—asking an employee to engage in sexual activity in exchange for job advancement or benefit. In some cases, the harasser may threaten the victim of negative and/or grave consequences if the latter denies the former of his or her favor. Before the sexual demand itself, the harasser may first engage the victim to “friendly” conversations that may or may not be work-related, sometimes involving topics of sex and comments regarding the victim’s attire or physique.

Meanwhile, sexual harassment that promotes a hostile working environment is similar to “quid pro quo;” however, it involves other forms of unwelcome sexual conduct. Apart from what was already described above, this type of sexual harassment involves jokes, comments, questions, glares, gestures, sounds, or any other activity that is sexually suggestive or directly intrusive. Other absolutely unnecessary conduct includes the display of pornographic materials, exposure of private parts, and unwanted body contact. Any of these must have been done repeatedly, unreasonably disrupting the victim’s ability to work, thus causing a hostile, abusive working environment.

The severity of the situation would cause the victim to be stressed and humiliated. In other cases, the pervasive and severe environment may have been created by the harasser, usually the boss of the company, in order to force the employee to resign from the job. In this situation, the victim may file claims of not only sexual harassment, but also constructive discharge.

Speaking of claims, individuals who suffered unwelcome and/or severe sexual conduct must act immediately so that they could be able to exact justice from the harassment they endured in the workplace. But first, they must be able to report the incident to their employers, who are bound by the sexual harassment law of both federal and state levels to investigate the complaint and implement the rightful preventive and remedial actions. If no actions were taken whatsoever to address the problem, then it would be in their best interest to hire legal counsels who are experts in sexual harassment law in California.

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