What constitutes sexual harassment?

| Mar 16, 2021 | in Employment |

California remains home to many places of employment and all the opportunities that go with so many jobs. Workplaces might not always be positive places for everyone due to the prevalence of sexual harassment. Some forms of sexual harassment are more overt than others, but all types of harassment are unacceptable. Under the law, a victim of sexual harassment could take legal actions to address the abuse.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

When an employer repeatedly makes unwanted advances, then there may be a strong case for sexual harassment. A “quid pro quo” element need not be present for sexual harassment to occur. Some may assume only a person with authority over the victim could be guilty of sexual harassment, an inaccurate belief. Co-workers, vendors, contractors, or anyone else in the office may be guilty of sexual harassment.

Unwanted advances and touching aren’t the only behaviors that constitute harassment, either. Inappropriate comments might also indicate sexual harassment. In some instances, indirect sexual harassment might occur. Indirect sexual harassment could involve behavior by others not directly affecting a third party but still constitutes harassment.

Seeking a remedy for sexual harassment

Retaliation for those who turn down sexual advancements may occur, and retaliation could lead to a lawsuit. An attorney may discuss the steps a victim might take in such a difficult situation.

In California, a victim of workplace sexual harassment could explore filing complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may also assist with complaints.

Matters involving discrimination, harassment, and employment law (employee) may be unfamiliar to someone without a legal background. An attorney could help someone with questions about sexual harassment and how to take action. The attorney might represent the client during the complaint process.