What are the two types of sexual harassment?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Employment |

No one should experience sexual harassment at work. Unfortunately, it happens more often than it should. It can create a toxic environment, impacting productivity and overall well-being.

In California, specific laws protect workers from such behavior, ensuring a safe and respectful workplace.

Quid pro quo vs a hostile work environment

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take different forms, but there are two main types:

  • Quid pro quo: This occurs when employment decisions depend on submission to sexual advances or requests. Examples include promotions, raises or continued employment in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Hostile work environment: This happens when unwelcomed sexual behaviors create an intimidating and hostile work environment. This may include inappropriate touching, sexual jokes, or sharing and displaying sexually explicit material.

Recognizing these forms of harassment is the first step toward taking appropriate action and protecting yourself at work.

Reporting sexual harassment

Sexual harassment victims have the right to file a complaint with their employer. Inform your supervisor or HR department and officially file a complaint. If your company ignores you or does not act immediately, you may try seeking help from government agencies, such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

What if the company retaliates?

California state law protects you against retaliation for reporting harassment. It is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for participating in protected activities such as complaints about discrimination or harassment.

If your employer is retaliating against you or not taking your complaint seriously, you may want to seek the help of legal professionals to guide you through the process and hold the responsible individuals accountable for their actions.