State and federal laws protect employees from harassment in the workplace. The term “sexual harassment” covers a wide range of actions taken by employers, supervisors, and coworkers. Inappropriate touching is the most obvious form of harassment, but sexually oriented conversation, obscene jokes and material in the workplace all contribute to an offensive and inappropriate work environment.
Any employee can be the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. At the Rogers Employment Law Firm, I represent employees throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Sonoma County, Solano County, and Santa Clara County. This webpage is intended to provide general information about sexual harassment. For information specific to your case please contact me, Richard Rogers, a San Francisco sexual harassment lawyer with more than 20 years of employment law experience.
Sexual Harassment - An Overview
Sexual harassment is not a joke. While to some it may seem like harmless horseplay, it deprives others of dignity and equality. Victims of sexual harassment have well-established rights under federal law and, in many cases, under state law.
A knowledgeable employment law attorney can advise you on protecting your rights.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination. Sexual harassment may consist of sexual requests from a superior, tied to the quality of the employee's job or benefits, or it can be the inappropriate behavior of one or more co-workers. It is forbidden by federal civil rights law and by numerous state anti-discrimination laws. These laws give you specific rights and remedies if you experience sexual harassment in the workplace.
What is "Sexual Harassment?"
Sexual harassment is employment discrimination. It is verbal or physical abuse, typically of a sexual nature. The harasser can be a man or a woman, and so can the victim; the harasser and the victim can be of the same gender. Harassment is considered discrimination because it singles out the victim on the basis of a protected category — in this case, gender. Victims of sexual harassment often suffer negative effects. They may not be able to perform their jobs sufficiently; they may suffer psychological damage; and they may feel forced to quit. An attorney with experience in handling sexual harassment claims can tell you if you have a case for sexual harassment.
What Can an Employee Do About Sexual Harassment?
People who suffer sexual harassment can feel powerless, especially when they are told that there is nothing they can do about it. Victims of sexual harassment, however, have strong rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and many state laws. An experienced attorney can tell you exactly what you can do to put a stop to sexual harassment.
Keeping a Sexual Harassment Log
Sexual harassment in the workplace typically consists of numerous incidents. An accurate and detailed written log, or diary, of the incidents will help prove your claim of sexual harassment by providing evidence of what took place and when. An attorney with experience in handling sexual harassment claims can tell you what type of evidence you need in order to bring a sexual harassment claim.
Coping with Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment has serious emotional effects on its victims. It can also do damage to a victim's career. If you bring a sex harassment case in court, getting through it and rebuilding your career afterward may seem almost as difficult as the harassment itself. An attorney with experience in handling sexual harassment cases can offer suggestions and resources to help you deal with the effects of your case.