Sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor, client, co-worker or any person whom the victim regularly encounters in the workplace, makes continued and undesired sexual advances, requests sexual favors, or engages in verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature and directs such conduct at the victim employee. While sexual harassment laws came into being with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, very few cases were litigated pursuant to the Act until the 1970s. Today, sexual harassment comprises one of the most frequently litigated spheres of sexual discrimination law. Many states currently have civil rights laws that proscribe sexual harassment in schools and the workplace. The majority of claims are brought under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is applicable because sexual harassment is considered to be a form of gender discrimination. Additionally, many of the safeguards that have been enacted to protect against sexual harassment have come from case law, and sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles frequently litigate sexual misconduct cases. 1986 marks the year in which the Supreme Court first deemed improper workplace behavior as constituting “sexual harassment” and granted the victim damages to compensate her for her sufferings.
There are two types of sexual harassment claims: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment refers to instances where an employer or co-worker insists that his or her employee perform sexual favors in order to receive job-related benefits or simply to continue working at all. This theory of harassment means “this for that” and involves substantial actions that negatively affect the victim’s working conditions. Examples include requiring sexual favors in exchange for being hired or promoted, punishing or terminating an employee who rebuffs sexual advances, or altering employment expectations after an employee refuses invitations to private or social events. A hostile work environment is created when inappropriate sexual behavior repeatedly occurs in the workplace. A sexual harassment claim under a hostile work environment theory may prevail if the harassment suffered by the employee at the hands of the employer or co-worker is sufficiently severe and pervasive so as to alter the employee’s employment. There are sexual harassment lawyers in Los Angeles who handle both types of sexual misconduct claims.
Nearly 15,000 sexual harassment complaints are filed with The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year, and polls taken by the government and the media report that up to sixty percent of women in the workplace have suffered some kind of sexual harassment. Although the bulk of incidents are reported by women, fifteen percent of the complaints received by the EEOC in 2004 were filed by men. Harassment victims, both men and women alike, commonly experience emotional and physical side effects. Additionally, harassment may cause problems for the companies and other workers involved. Anyone who has been affected by sexual harassment should consult a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles.
Companies have concentrated on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace and have taken to defending their employees from accusations once they have been launched. Harassment may cause decreases in company funds, productivity, and morale. Employers who ignore or tolerate sexual harassment may lose valuable staff since those subjected to harassment commonly choose to quit. Victims who decide to remain at the company sometimes suffer paranoia, and an employee’s fear of experiencing further harassment may cause a lack of focus and the inability to work effectively. If the company tolerates harassment, ethical standards may be undermined and the business’s image among its staff, its competitors, and the public at large will be jeopardized. A sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles should be contacted if you believe you’ve been a victim of harassment.
Victims of sexual harassment commonly suffer physical or emotional harm. Harassment has been demonstrated to lower the affected party’s self-esteem and cause other psychological problems. Employees’ trust in authority may be diluted if the employer was the source of the harassment or did nothing to prevent it from happening. Also, employees who resign often have difficulty securing other employment since they cannot obtain advantageous references from their employers or because they have trouble explaining to a prospective employer their reasons for leaving. Although sexual harassment typically causes the victim to be afflicted, adverse consequences are not required in order for the harasser’s behavior to be found unlawful. Moreover, the perpetrator need not be aware that his or her conduct is indeed sufficiently inappropriate to amount to sexual harassment. If someone believes that he or she was the subject of sexual misconduct, a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles may advise the victim of the legal options available.