Looking for a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Los Angeles?
You take great pride in the work you do. You should be able to go to your place of business each day without the threat or fear of harassment. Employers are obligated by federal and state law to protect their employees from sexual harassment. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits gender discrimination in the workplace. It is the main federal law that protects people against sexual harassment. The state of California has a range of statutes that reinforce this policy. If you have been sexually harassed at work, then you may need to take legal action against your company. Your first move should be to hire an employment attorney Los Angeles.
The Right Response to Sexual Harassment
Your knowledge, expertise, and experience are what got you the job, and you want to be judged on your ability to do the work. This may make you reticent to speak out about sexual harassment. You may feel a sense of embarrassment about the situation. You may believe that your co-workers will look at you differently if you file a complaint. You may also fear that you will be retaliated against if you report your harasser to management. It is natural to feel all these things. However, you will not be able to do your job properly if you are under the constant emotional and mental strain that is a consequence of sexual harassment.
If you believe that you can get your harasser to stop by confronting them directly, then you should do so. Some people do not understand when they have crossed the line into inappropriate behavior. They think they are being friendly and charming. A discrete word with this kind of person may put an end to the matter without the need for further action.
However, if you are dealing with a more aggressively intentional type of harassment, then you may be uncomfortable confronting the perpetrator. There is no shame in seeking help. And if you think it is better to report the person to your superiors, then you should do so.
The Nature of Sexual Harassment
With the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements many people have gotten the wrong idea of what is and what is not sexual harassment. The common rejoinder that “you can’t talk to anyone anymore” is sometimes used to obscure the difference between decent and indecent behavior.
People will naturally socialize in the workplace. They must do so in order to get anything done. Friendships will be formed in such groups. And of course, there will be individuals who become romantically involved. This is nothing to do with sexual harassment. The latter consists of unwanted sexual advancements. If you have already turned a co-worker down and they insist on pestering you about a date or escalate to behavior that includes inappropriate touching, emails, or comments, then they have descended into sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is not limited to targeted aggression. If one or more of your colleagues puts up sexually suggestive posters, calendars, or screensavers, if they make sexually explicit jokes or engage in catcalling, they have created a hostile work environment. This is also against the law.
Filing a Legal Claim
You should hire a lawyer and file a legal claim against your employer only if they have failed to act on your original complaint or their action had no effect on the harasser. You should file a lawsuit if you have been retaliated against for filing a complaint or pressured into dropping your complaint. It may seem like a serious step to take, and the prospect of going head-to-head with your company may unnerve and unsettle you. However, you need not go through the process alone. A Los Angeles workplace lawyer will be your guide, protector, and advocate as you pursue justice.
Statute of Limitations on Sexual Harassment
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it unlawful for any employee to be discriminated against and harassed in the workplace. It also forbids retaliation against such a person for reporting the misconduct. Since January 1st of 2020, aggrieved employees have three years to file a sexual harassment complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) after an alleged violation.
The extension from one to three years came as a result of the work done by the #MeToo movement. Sexual harassment can be a traumatic event. Many victims need time to fully process what they experienced before they can come forward. Victims also fear for their jobs and are threatened by the prospect of retaliation.
This new extension gives victims of sexual harassment time to understand their rights and options. It also obligates employers to monitor their retention of employee records so that they are accurate for the appropriate time frame.
Once you file with DFEH, the department will investigate your claims. They will either resolve the case or issue a notice of right to sue. You will then have an additional year to file an action in court.
How to Resolve Your Sexual Harassment Complaint
If the DFEH has issued a notice of right to sue, you will need to decide what you want from your employer. Your sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles can help you with this. Your sexual harassment lawyer Los Angeles can get you reinstated, can ensure that you are put back on track for career advancement, and can get you compensation for mental and emotional pain and suffering. Your Los Angeles work harassment attorney can also help you get significant changes made in sexual harassment policy in your workplace.
If you were the victim of a sexual assault, then you must involve the police. You should also retain the services of a sexual assault lawyer in the workplace. A sexual assault lawyer in the workplace will ensure that your criminal complaint is taken seriously and that the person who assaulted you is brought to justice.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, then you should hire a Los Angeles work harassment attorney and get the compensation and justice you deserve.