REPEATED INAPPROPRIATE AND UNWANTED SEXUAL OR GENDER-RELATED STATEMENTS
Sexual harassment may or may not be related to actual sexual interest in the person being targeted. It may, instead, be a type of bullying reflecting hostility toward the victim based on gender, gender identity, or gender stereotyping. In either case, verbal sexual harassment is defined as inappropriate sexual or gender-related statements that become so serious or so pervasive that they create a hostile work environment in which the victim becomes unable to perform his or her job function. In other words, to bring a discrimination case based on a hostile work environment, the inappropriate comments must usually be more than an isolated incident.
A CAUSE OF ACTION FOR “SERIOUS AND PERVASIVE” HARASSMENT
When the statements are made repeatedly, the targeted employee may have a strong case for a legal action against the employer for severe or pervasive sexual harassment that has resulted in a reasonable fear or inability to go to work. Sexual or gender-based bullying may include comments about the person’s appearance, dress, mannerisms, sexual tastes, or sexual preference. It might include use of loaded words, such as bitch, whore, fag, dyke, tranny, and so forth, meant to humiliate or demean someone.
It is the responsibility of the employer to create an environment free of this type of harassment by establishing clearly-articulated anti-harassment policies and an internal system for dealing with complaints. Anyone who is offended by the repeated remarks, whether he or she is the target of the harassment, or is another employee who is exposed to the ongoing sexually demeaning language, can make a complaint.
CALIFORNIA LEADS THE NATION IN PROTECTING FROM SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE
California leads the nation in protecting its workers from harassment through unwanted and repeated verbal comments on the job. It is a fundamental human right to be able to work for a living, and if the behavior of others effectively prevents you from doing your job, you may be able to recover damages for lost wages and psychological distress. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act offers more protection to employees than comparable federal legislation with a less burdensome burden of proof and none of the damage caps that federal protections contain. It also allows up to a year from the last occurrence of the harassment to file suit, as opposed to 180 days under federal laws.
LEGAL COUNSEL FOR SEXUAL OR GENDER-BASED COMMENTS AND OTHER SEXUAL HARASSMENT
If your job has become unbearable because of constant put downs, insults, and inappropriate comments based on your gender, gender identity, sexual preference, or any other sex-related characteristic, your first step is to demand that the harasser stop the behavior. If this doesn’t work, check your employee handbook for your company’s complaint procedure. If there is none, report it to your human resources department.
If this doesn’t produce results or if you are subjected to additional harassment as retaliation for your objections, consult an employment lawyer with experience in sexual harassment cases. In San Diego, your first choice should be the law firm of Zeldes, Haeqquist & Eck, LLP. Sexual and gender-based harassment in the workplace is a main area of focus and one in which we have a strong history of success in winning injunctions, reinstatement, and monetary damage awards for our many satisfied clients.
EXPERIENCED SAN DIEGO SEXUAL HARASSMENT ATTORNEYS | ZHE LAW, LLP
If you’ve been subjected to this type of unconscionable treatment at work, we can help. We invite you to call and schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and how our passionate, committed, and aggressive employment attorneys can help you achieve the justice you deserve. Don’t continue to suffer unnecessarily. Get the help you need in Southern California by calling Zeldes, Haeqquist & Eck, LLP, today.