Sexual and other types of employee harassment in the workplace are serious for both employers and employees. Blady Workforce Law Group is experienced in litigating employment harassment claims, including workplace sexual harassment. The most typical types of employee harassment claims are for sexual harassment and harassment based on gender.
Illegal harassment can be based on sexual orientation, same or different gender, gender identity, national origin, race, age, disability, marital status, and other classifications protected by state or federal law, including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Although unlawful harassment is frequently thought of as abuse by a superior, it can also take place between people of equal job status and between people of the same gender.
“Sexual Harassment” encompasses the following kinds of conduct and comments: unwanted sexual propositions and advances, requests for favors of a sexual nature, and other unwelcome, sexually suggestive verbal, physical or visual conduct. Comments or actions displaying racial bias that offend or demean a person of a specific ethnicity or race can also create a hostile work environment.
Unlawful harassment occur when:
- The harassment negatively affects an employee’s job performance, or creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
- Employment is made conditional, either overtly or implicitly, on submitting to harassment;
- Submitting to, or rejecting, harassment is the basis for negative employment actions, such as suspension, demotion, or discharge;
Using this definition of sexual harassment, two separate categories of claims are widely recognized: Quid Pro Quo Harassment and Hostile Environment Harassment.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid Pro Quo harassment is when submitting to sexual conduct or activity is a condition of receiving employment benefits, and the employee’s submitting to or rejecting this conduct is used as the basis for employment actions.
Hostile Environment Harassment
Hostile Environment harassment occurs when requests for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, or other gender-specific physical or verbal conduct occurs at work by a supervisor, manager, boss or co-worker; or where this conduct interferes with job performance or creates an offensive or hostile work environment. An individual can claim that he or she is subject to a hostile work environment when the illegal conduct is significant and prevents the employee from effectively doing his or her job.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
- Guaranteeing employment, continued employment, benefits or promotion in return for sexual favors.
- Threatening to retaliate when a sexual advance is rejected.
- Unwelcome sexual advances or proposals.
- Intentional unwelcome physical contact: touching, kissing, groping, hugging, or impeding movement.
- Visual conduct: Staring, leering, displaying suggestive or sexually graphic pictures or objects, posters or cartoons, making sexual gestures.
- Verbal conduct: making or quoting derogatory remarks, jokes, or slurs, verbal abuse which is sexual in nature, comments about an employee’s appearance or body, using sexually degrading language when describing an individual, obscene or suggestive written communication, and sexually explicit questions or statements.
BW Law Group’s attorneys have successfully litigated harassment claims in the workplace, including sexual and racial harassment. If you have an employee claim for harassment, you may want to retain a BW Law Group employment lawyer. Please contact us for a consultation at 323-933-1352.