Is someone at your place of employment interfering with your ability to focus on your work by sexually harassing you? Perhaps you are being made to feel uncomfortable but are not certain whether what you’re being subjected to rises to the level of sexual harassment. Regardless of your sex or that of the person bothering you, if the behavior is frequent and persistent, you have asked the person to stop, and he or she has not done so, it may be illegal sexual harassment. Report it to your employer; if the behavior doesn’t stop after you’ve informed your employer of the problem, you may have the right to bring a civil claim for sexual harassment.
ACTS THAT MAY BE DEEMED SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Some forms of sexual harassment are criminal offenses in California, as well as grounds for a civil action, for example sexual assault, indecent exposure, and stalking.
Below are some other behaviors that when persistent and unwelcome may be considered sexual harassment:
- Direct or indirectly threatening or attempting to bribe someone for unwanted sexual activity; stating or implying that continued employment is contingent on sexual favors
- Making frequent unwelcome sexual comments or innuendos
- Boasting about the size of one’s genitalia
- Asking intrusive questions about someone’s sexuality or sexual preferences
- Sexually suggestive hand gestures, lip licking, pelvic movements, or smacking or sucking sounds
- Repeated requests for sex or dates
- Inappropriately touching, hugging, massaging, squeezing, patting, tickling, stroking, or deliberately brushing up against someone
- Rating a person’s sexual attractiveness: “she’s a perfect 10,” or “he’s a 5 at best”
- Leering or staring at a woman’s breasts or a man’s buttocks or “package.”
- Openly speculating or repeating rumors about a person’s sexuality
- Displaying or distributing pornographic or sexual material
- Using derogatory epithets: i.e. slut, bitch, whore, fag, dyke, tranny, etc.
- Sexual ridicule
- Regularly making offensive sexual or gender-related jokes
- Sending emails or notes containing sexually explicit content
TO BE HARASSMENT, BEHAVIOR MUST BE UNWANTED
Sometimes there may be a fine line between poor judgment and sexual harassment. There are no hard and fast rules on what is and is not sexual harassment (short of outright assault).The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) examines the circumstances of each complaint on an individual basis to determine whether the reported behavior was an isolated or occasional occurrence or if it represented a persistent or pervasive pattern that could be deemed harassment.
A great deal will hinge upon and the context in which the behavior occurred, whether the behavior was unwanted, and whether the fact that it was unwanted clearly communicated to the harasser.
YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED SEXUAL HARASSMENT ATTORNEY
To succeed in winning your case and recovering for emotional , psychological, and/or financial damages, and possible punitive damages, or to be reinstated if you have been terminated after reporting the harassment, you should have a San Diego sexual harassment lawyer fighting for you.
THE RIGHT LAW FIRM WHEN YOU’VE BEEN HARASSED ON THE JOB
You should never allow yourself to be subjected to demeaning sexually-based behavior on the job. Everyone is entitled to work for a living in a respectful and non-hostile environment. The sexual harassment attorneys at the San Diego law firm of Zeldes, Haeggquist, & Eck, LLP, have years of experience bringing claims against employers on behalf of clients who have suffered harassment on the job.
We are happy to offer you a free consultation in which we will review the facts of your situation and determine if you have been subjected to unlawful sexual at work and will advise you of your legal rights and the proper procedure for making a claim to the EEOC. Don’t continue to suffer in silence. Call Zeldes, Haeggquist, & Eck, LLP today.c