Men, Women Both Targets Of Sexual Harassment In California Workplaces

You Have Rights As A Worker. I Will Help Protect Them.
Denis ZilberbergSeptember 16, 2021Sexual Harassment

Although #MeToo brought the simmering underbelly of sexual harassment to the surface in a big way, it still exists (and may always exist) in the modern workplace. In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fielded over 6,500 claims of sexual harassment in the fiscal year 2020 alone. This is still an unacceptable level and indicates that there are still some bad apples in the bunch in workplaces across the country.

When it comes to sexual harassment, men are harassed as well as women. And male harassment may be more prevalent than most people think. In fact, up to 43 percent of men and up to 57 percent of women experience behavior at work that might be seen as sexual harassment, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was interpreted some two decades later to protect workers from being sexually harassed, this type of workplace harassment occurs every day, with men harassing women and/or men and women harassing men and/or women. Federal law recognizes sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination in private workplaces and government and labor organizations where there are 15 or more workers.

Sexual Harassment In The California Workplace

In California, employers or supervisors/agents of employers are prohibited by law from committing sexual harassment or allowing sexual harassment to be committed. Sexual harassment in California can be quid pro quo harassment, which occurs when a job or promotion comes with the requirement of explicit or implicit sex-based conduct.

Sexual harassment in California workplaces can also create a hostile work environment, the hallmark of which is unwelcome sexual conduct or comments that interfere with the target’s workday or create a work environment that is offensive or even intimidating.

Examples Of Sexual Harassment

There are several actions that can be construed as sexual harassment, both in men and women victims. These include:

  • Verbal sexual harassment, which includes derogatory slurs or comments and epithets. This can include the discussion of sexual acts, unwelcome sexual propositions, or the use of sexually degrading words.
  • Physical sexual harassment, which includes physically assaulting the victim or blocking or impeding the victim’s movement. This type of harassment might also include unwelcome touching, such as patting on the backside, brushing “accidentally” against someone else, or rubbing someone’s back or shoulders.
  • Visual sexual harassment, which includes the display of derogatory drawings, cartoons, or posters. This might include sexually obscene or suggestive invitations or messages, graphic comments, or giving another employee a derogatory picture or cartoon.
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, that involve sexual favors as a condition of employment or benefits of employment, which includes compensation, promotions, and so on. Some examples include offering a benefit for a sexually based favor, threatening to reduce benefits or compensation unless the victim complies with the request for sexual favors.

Afraid To Complain?

If you are a victim of sexual harassment in California, don’t be afraid to complain. It is against the law for your employer or others to retaliate against you for filing a complaint of harassment or two fire you or reduce your benefits based on your complaint. Reach out to a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney with The Kaufman Law Firm right away to discuss the merits of your case. You can contact us for a consultation by clicking here or calling us at 818-990-1999.



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