DO YOU HAVE A SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE? CALL US TODAY
Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. Smart and ethical companies recognize this fact and take measures to protect workers from mistreatment and harassment. Sexual harassment is one of the worst forms of workplace mistreatment as it reduces its victims to mere objects. The thing to understand about sexual harassment is that it is not about sex; it is about power. The individuals who engage in such conduct do so because they think they can get away with it. They feel a sense of entitlement and privilege, and they choose to exercise these on subordinates who they believe are powerless to fight back.
If you have been subjected to unwelcome sexual advances or other gender-based misconduct at work, you should hold the people responsible for the behavior accountable. In the end, you may need to speak to an employment attorney in Los Angeles and file a sexual harassment case. But before getting to that stage, there are actions you can take to resolve the matter.
Doing What You Would Prefer Not To
You were hired because of your skill, knowledge, and ability. You want to be recognized for the contribution you make to the team, not for some sordid situation that you had no part in creating. Many women believe they face a dilemma in reporting sexual harassment. If they report the misconduct, they will be viewed as a victim which will overshadow all the work that they do. If they do not report it, then the harasser will likely intensify their efforts or do the same thing to someone else.
You do not have to buy into this belief. Although you would prefer not to be in the situation at all, there is a way to deal with it that preserves your dignity and status among your colleagues.
As was mentioned before, harassers feel entitled to conduct themselves as they do. The main reason for this is that they have always gotten away with it; they have never been confronted by any of their victims. One way of dealing with sexual harassment is to confront the perpetrator directly. This need not be aggressive or public. A quiet word on the side may be enough to get them to cease the harassment.
If you do not feel comfortable doing this, then you should review your company’s sexual harassment complaints procedure and follow it. There is also the possibility of going directly to someone senior to the person who is doing the harassing. The bottom line is that you will have to feel your way through the situation. You know your company and the people you work with. You will need to decide who you can trust and count on. You will also need to gauge how the company will respond if you try to resolve the matter informally.
When You Are Left with Only One Option
If you have reported the sexual harassment and your employer has taken no action, then you will need to speak to a Los Angeles workplace attorney and build a case. Before you meet with a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles, you want to be organized and prepared. These lawyers are approached all the time by women with complaints. They do not accept all cases. In fact, the Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer you approach will only accept your case if they know they can win it—winning it means getting a settlement that is satisfactory to you, and that includes monetary compensation.
The moment you believe that you will need to sue your employer you should start gathering evidence against them. You should begin this process by trying to define, describe, and explain the exact nature of sexual harassment.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment consists of unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances and gender-based comments or actions that create a hostile work environment. To meet the legal standard, the conduct must be offensive to any reasonable person in your situation. Not every kind gesture or clumsy attempt at flirtation rises to the level of sexual harassment in the eyes of the law.
The conduct must also be severe or pervasive. If, for example, a colleague asks you out on a date and you say no, this is not sexual harassment. If they repeatedly ask you out and you give them the same answer, this is sexual harassment. Harassment also comes in the form of sexually-charged comments. If your boss tells a female employee how hot or sexy she is or if you are confronted every day with dirty jokes, pin-up posters, and sexual gestures from male colleagues, then they are in breach of the law and you don’t have to take it.
What a Sexual Harassment Lawyer Looks for in a Case
The Los Angeles workplace harassment attorney you approach will ask the following questions before taking your case:
- Was the conduct offensive?You must be careful here. Even if you were trying to be “one of the boys” by joining in the sexual banter, you will have a hard time proving that your harassment claim is valid, as this demonstrates that the conduct was not unwelcome. Your Los Angeles employee harassment attorney will also determine whether a reasonable person in your situation would have been offended by the conduct.
- Was the harassment committed by a supervisorIf you have been harassed by a supervisor, it is important to keep evidence of it. You should save any voice, text, or social media message. You should also preserve emails—and you will want to send these to your private account—that are inappropriate. If the person has sent you offensive drawings or other visual material, do not throw them away. You will need them to make your case.
- What do you want out of the case?One of the first things the Los Angeles employee harassment claims lawyer you approach will ask is what you expect out of the case. If you were fired, demoted, denied opportunity for advancement, or had your hours cut because you refused the advances of a supervisor, then you can claim damages. You can also insist that the person who caused you such grief be terminated or transferred. You will need to state what you want from the beginning. If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted on the job, you should hire a sexual assault allegations lawyer for the workplace. A workplace sexual assault claims lawyer will have the legal insight and experience to get you justice.