What Constitutes as Sexual Harassment at Work? | Mann & Elias
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What Constitutes as Sexual Harassment at Work?


While the modern-day workplace contains much more diversity and political correctness than in years past, there is still sexual harassment directed at both male and female employees. However, even though this is still prevalent in many different types of workplaces, many of these incidents go unreported. In fact, an EEOC study from 2016 found that almost 75% of employees who are sexually harassed on the job fail to file complaints with their supervisors or others. But as workplaces have evolved in recent years, so too have the various forms of sexual harassment. If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment on the job, do not let it continue. Instead, discuss your concerns with a Los Angeles workplace lawyer at Mann Elias.

When most people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, they typically envision women getting slapped from behind or being propositioned for sex by a manager. While this still does occur, many other methods are now used for sexual harassment. Some of the most common include late-night text messages or provocative images, suggestive emails, and business “meetings” that are in reality dates. If you have been subjected to any of these or other similar acts, do not let them continue. Instead, turn to a sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles trusts from Mann Elias.

A Violation of Your Civil Rights

When most employees are subjected to various forms of sexual harassment, they do not realize their civil rights are being violated. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, workplace sexual harassment is considered illegal when occurring in businesses with at least 15 employees. Within the Civil Rights Act, two specific types of harassment are included. The first of these is known as quid pro quo, which is when a request for sexual favors includes a tangible job action as a potential reward. For example, if a supervisor requests sexual favors and offers you a promotion for complying with the request, quid pro quo has taken place. The other form of this harassment is a hostile work environment, which involves physical or verbal sexual behavior directed at an employee that makes their work environment difficult to endure day after day. If you believe sexual harassment directed at you qualifies under these categories, consult at once with a Los Angeles work harassment attorney from Mann Elias.

Proving Sexual Harassment

While it is somewhat easy to demonstrate a quid pro quo sexual harassment incident took place, it can be much more difficult to prove a hostile work environment does indeed exist. To build a successful case, you will need to have various types of evidence that can be given to your sexual assault lawyer in the workplace. This should include any emails, text messages, cartoons, or other sexually suggestive communications given or sent to you by managers or coworkers. In addition, if anyone witnessed the sexual harassment being directed at you, try to obtain statements from them. By having as much evidence as possible when you initially come forward with these allegations, you stand a much better chance of having a successful outcome.

Examples of Inappropriate Conduct

While you may think such acts as unwanted kissing or being slapped on the rear end are the primary examples of inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace, the fact is there are many examples of sexual harassment that take place each day in the workplace. For example, while everyone likes to be complimented for their appearance, repeated comments that make you feel uncomfortable may constitute sexual harassment. Also, if other employees ask you about your sex life or discuss their sex life in front of you despite your requests they not do so, this may be viewed legally as sexual harassment in the workplace. As for other types of inappropriate conduct, they include making sexual jokes, leaving unwanted gifts of a sexual nature, and hugs or neck massages that are unwanted and make you feel uncomfortable. If these or other similar types of inappropriate sexual conduct are being directed at you while on the job, hold those responsible accountable for their actions by speaking with a Los Angeles workplace lawyer from Mann Elias.

What a Reasonable Person Would Expect

To be considered an act of sexual harassment in the workplace, the words or acts must be what a reasonable person would consider to be offensive under similar circumstances. As an example, if a female employee becomes offended when complimented on her new hairstyle or when a door is held open for her, this would not constitute sexual harassment, since the average person would not consider these acts to be offensive. If you are unsure as to whether the words or behaviors directed at you are indeed sexual harassment, discuss your situation by consulting with a sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles employees trust at Mann Elias.

Customer and Client Sexual Harassment

While you may think a sexual harassment claim can be made only if the harassment is directed at you by a coworker or manager, you are mistaken. In many cases, employees will allege sexual harassment in the workplace when the harassment comes from customers or clients of the business. Since employers do have a legal obligation to protect their employees from harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, you are allowed to bring forth allegations of sexual harassment being directed at you from those who do not work at your employer. Since these situations can be complex and contain many different versions of what may or may not have happened, always speak with an experienced Los Angeles work harassment attorney from Mann Elias.

While you will undoubtedly feel embarrassed about being involved in any type of sexual situation at work, it is crucial you hold those responsible for such harassment accountable for their actions. To do so, schedule an immediate consultation with a sexual assault lawyer in the workplace from Mann Elias and discuss your concerns with an experienced legal professional.


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