Fighting to End Sexual Harassment in California

The Sacramento law firm of Perkins Asbill offers sound legal advice, personal guidance, and dedicated representation to employees throughout central and northern California who feel they have been the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Many of our clients first contact an attorney at the firm for answers to important questions: What is sexual harassment? How do I prove I am working in a hostile environment? How do I make the behavior stop? For honest answers and straightforward advice, simply contact us today.

Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, and Quid Pro Quo

Under California law, in order to establish sexual harassment, it is necessary to prove that the conduct is severe or pervasive and that it affects an employee’s ability to work. This is what is known as a “hostile work environment.” It is not necessary that you be the target of the behavior. Repeatedly witnessing inappropriate actions and comments can cause the work environment to be hostile.

Another form of sexual harassment is known as quid pro quo. To put it simply, this is a situation in which a manager, supervisor, or other superior promises a raise, bonus, or career advancement in exchange for sexual favors. The opposite situation may also occur, in which the person in a position of power threatens demotion or other consequences if these favors are not provided.

It is important to understand that if a coworker is touching you or making comments of sexual nature, you should make every effort to make sure the coworker knows that this conduct is unwelcomed.

In most sexual harassment cases we see, there is a pattern of behavior and ignored complaints. Employers may be held strictly liable under California law for sexual harassment by a supervisor if they fail to take prompt corrective action following a report of harassment.

Reporting Harassment vs. Filing a Lawsuit

A first step toward resolving any workplace difficulty is to talk to human resources or a supervisor if something inappropriate is going on at work. This can be the most effective way to address the situation and to put an end to the behavior. Sometimes, however, employers refuse to act. In other cases, reporting harassment to a supervisor could be problematic, or your supervisor may be the harassing party. Under these circumstances, you should contact an attorney who can guide you in protecting your rights and pursuing legal action to stop the harassment.

Litigation is almost always a last resort in these cases. Ideally, your lawyer can help assist you to ensure that your employer take the necessary corrective action. If your employer fails to respond appropriately, we have the skill and experience to fight for your rights in court.

With more than 30 years of employment law experience, our lawyers know how to work through the intricacies of the California Labor Code, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and other applicable law. To get started, arrange a confidential consultation by calling (916) 446-2000.