Richard Rogers

Saturday, December 20, 2014  

Richard Rogers - Employment Law Specialist
Call Me at: (415) 981-9788 City

Rogers Employment Law • 100 Bush Street Suite 1980 • San Francisco, CA 94104 • Phone: (415) 981-9788 • Fax: (415) 981-9798


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Sexual Harassment

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Harassment

Q: Can my employer retaliate against me for filing a sexual harassment claim?

A: No. Federal law prohibits retaliation against employees who report unlawful employment practices or who file a claim for workplace discrimination. You are also protected from retaliation for appearing as a witness in another employee's sexual harassment lawsuit.

Q: Is sexual harassment only men harassing women?

A: No matter who is harassing whom, it can be sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is verbal or physical abuse that amounts to discrimination against a person because of his or her sex. If the harassment is between two people of the same sex, the person who is being harassed must show that the harassment was based on his or her sex (not just the sexual desire, if any, of the harasser). The person suffering harassment also must have been treated differently than members of the opposite sex were treated.

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Many sexual harassment claims are based on the theory that the workplace has become a hostile environment. A hostile environment is one in which the sexual conduct and attentions have become so persistent and pervasive that the average person would think of the environment as hostile or abusive. A hostile environment may be created by employees (or even non-employees) whose conversation is inappropriate and offensive, or who display sexually explicit pictures. Employers have an obligation to make sure that the workplace does not turn into a hostile environment. If your workplace is intolerable, contact an attorney to discuss a possible hostile environment claim.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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