- Over 400 combined Google 5-Star Reviews
- Tens of millions won every year for our clients
- We won’t settle for less than the maximum value for your case
- 30 combined years of legal experience
Table of Contents
Workplace sexual harassment is a widespread issue with significant impacts on individuals and organizations. Studies indicate that the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace ranges from 25% to 85% among women throughout their careers, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) found that 55% of women in the European Union reported experiencing sexual harassment at some point in their lives. Shockingly, many incidents go unreported, with approximately 75% of victims choosing not to file formal complaints, often due to fear of retaliation or distrust in the process.
The consequences for victims can be severe. Workplace sexual harassment can lead to emotional and psychological distress, including stress, anxiety, depression, lower self-esteem, and difficulties in job performance. It can also have long-term effects on career advancement and job satisfaction. Victims may face financial consequences if they feel compelled to leave their jobs or are forced out due to the harassment.
It is important to recognize that sexual harassment can be perpetrated by individuals of any gender, although it is predominantly reported by women. Men can also experience sexual harassment in the workplace, and it is crucial to address all instances of harassment regardless of the gender involved.
Yes, workplace sexual harassment is illegal in many countries, including the United States. Laws and regulations regarding sexual harassment vary by jurisdiction, but in general, it is considered a form of employment discrimination and is prohibited under various laws.
In the United States, for example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or offensive work environment. The EEOC investigates complaints of sexual harassment and can take legal action against employers found to have violated the law.
In San Diego, workplace sexual harassment is governed by both federal and state laws. The laws in San Diego generally align with the broader definitions of sexual harassment found in the United States. Here are some key points to consider:
- Unwelcome Conduct: Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It becomes harassment when it is unwanted, offensive, or creates a hostile work environment.
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment: This occurs when a person in a position of authority or power makes employment decisions (such as hiring, firing, promotions, or job benefits) contingent upon the victim’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances or requests.
- Hostile Work Environment: This refers to an environment in which unwelcome sexual conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work atmosphere. It may include offensive jokes, derogatory comments, inappropriate touching, or displays of explicit material.
- Gender-Based Harassment: San Diego recognizes that sexual harassment can be based on an individual’s gender, such as derogatory comments or behavior targeting someone due to their gender.
- Third-Party Harassment: San Diego also acknowledges that sexual harassment can occur from individuals who are not direct employees of the victim’s company, such as clients, customers, or contractors. Employers have a responsibility to address and prevent such harassment as well.
If you have been sexually harassed in your workplace, it is essential to take certain steps to address the issue and protect your rights. Here are some recommended actions:
- Document the incidents: Keep a record of all instances of harassment, including dates, times, locations, descriptions of what happened, and any witnesses present. This documentation will help support your case if you decide to take further action.
- Review your company’s policies: Familiarize yourself with your employer’s policies and procedures on sexual harassment. Understand the reporting process and any specific steps outlined in the policy.
- Report the harassment: Notify your employer or the designated person specified in your company’s policy about the sexual harassment. Follow the reporting procedures outlined, which may involve submitting a written complaint or speaking to a supervisor, human resources representative, or another appropriate authority. Make sure to provide details and any supporting documentation.
- Seek support: Reach out to trusted colleagues, friends, or family members to share your experience and gain emotional support. It can be helpful to discuss the situation with someone you trust, especially if they have experienced similar situations or can provide guidance.
- Preserve evidence: If there is any tangible evidence of the harassment, such as emails, text messages, or other forms of communication, ensure you preserve them as evidence. Take screenshots or make copies before they can be deleted or lost.
- Consult with an attorney: If you believe the sexual harassment persists or your employer does not adequately address the issue, it may be beneficial to consult with an employment attorney who specializes in workplace harassment. They can provide legal advice, explain your rights, and guide you through the process.
- File a complaint with relevant agencies: If internal procedures fail to resolve the issue or your employer does not take appropriate action, you may consider filing a complaint with the appropriate external agency. This could be the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the United States or a similar employment rights organization in your country.
Remember, each situation is unique, and it is important to assess your specific circumstances and consult with our workplace sexual harassment attorneys in San Diego who can provide personalized guidance based on the laws and regulations in the San Diego area.
A workplace sexual harassment attorney in San Diego can provide valuable assistance if you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Here are some ways they can help:
- Legal advice and assessment: An attorney will review your case, listen to your account of the harassment, and provide legal advice based on their expertise and knowledge of employment laws specific to San Diego and California. They can assess the strength of your case and advise you on the potential legal options available to you.
- Guidance through the legal process: Navigating the legal process can be complex and overwhelming. A sexual harassment attorney will guide you through each step of the process, explaining your rights and responsibilities. They will help you understand the laws relevant to your case and ensure you meet the necessary deadlines and requirements.
- Gathering evidence: Attorneys can assist in collecting and preserving evidence to support your case. They may help you obtain documents, video recordings, or other evidence that can strengthen your claims of sexual harassment.
- Negotiations and settlement discussions: If you choose to pursue a resolution outside of court, an attorney can represent you in negotiations with your employer or their legal representatives. They can advocate for your interests and help secure a fair settlement that addresses the harm you have suffered.
- Representation in legal proceedings: If your case proceeds to litigation, a sexual harassment attorney will represent you in court. They will present your case, question witnesses, and argue on your behalf. They will use their legal knowledge and experience to build a strong case and protect your rights.
- Support and guidance during emotional distress: Dealing with workplace sexual harassment can be emotionally challenging. An attorney can provide support, empathy, and guidance throughout the process. They understand the sensitive nature of these cases and can help you navigate the emotional aspects while focusing on your legal rights and options.
If you have experienced workplace sexual harassment in San Diego, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. The specific types of compensation you can receive will depend on factors such as the nature of the harassment, its impact on you, and the legal avenues pursued. Here are some common types of compensation that may be available:
- Economic damages: This includes compensation for any financial losses resulting from the harassment, such as lost wages or employment benefits due to a demotion, wrongful termination, or being forced to resign.
- Emotional distress damages: Workplace sexual harassment can have a significant emotional toll. You may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, humiliation, or other psychological harm caused by the harassment.
- Medical expenses: If you have incurred medical costs as a result of the harassment, such as therapy or counseling expenses, you may be eligible for reimbursement of those expenses.
- Punitive damages: In certain cases, where the employer’s conduct is deemed particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are intended to punish the employer and deter future instances of sexual harassment.
- Attorney’s fees and costs: If you pursue legal action and are successful, the court may order the employer to cover your attorney’s fees and other legal costs associated with your case.
It is important to note that the availability and extent of compensation can vary depending on factors such as the specific circumstances of the case, applicable laws, and legal proceedings. Consulting with a workplace sexual harassment attorney in San Diego will provide you with a clearer understanding of the potential compensation you may be entitled to based on your unique situation.
No person should have to struggle with workplace sexual harassment. If you have been a victim of this type of event, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our San Diego workplace sexual harassment lawyers. With years of experience assisting clients work through these types of cases, you can count on us to be there for you and with you every step of the way.