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Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Harassment in Los Angeles, California

Despite numerous state and federal laws against it, sexual harassment continues to be pervasive in workplaces in the Los Angeles Metro area and across California. If you’ve been harassed, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to tolerate it.

On this page, we’ve answered some questions you may have about sexual harassment and your rights. After reading, you can contact our experienced attorneys at Makarem & Associates to discuss your legal options during a free initial consultation.

Which actions and behaviors are considered workplace sexual harassment in California?

Sexual harassment in the workplace falls into two basic categories. The first is quid pro quo harassment, which is when someone in a position of authority requests or demands sexual favors in exchange for a work-related benefit or to prevent a negative employment action.

The other type of harassment is a hostile work environment. It includes a wide range of behaviors like unwelcome sexual advances, offensive remarks about a person’s body, sexual jokes, inappropriate touching, displaying sexually explicit material and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Who can be held liable for sexual harassment at work?

Under state law, all people responsible for the harassing conduct may be held liable for it. That includes both the individual who harassed you, whether they were your supervisor or not. Your employer can also be held liable for the harassment because they are responsible for the actions of their employees or any agents acting on their behalf.

What types of remedies are available to victims of sexual harassment in Los Angeles, California?

There are four types of remedies that you can receive if you succeed in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The most common form of damages is monetary damages for the emotional distress that you have suffered. The next most common remedy is rehiring or reinstatement if you were fired and wrongfully terminated from your job. You can also receive lost wages for the time you should have been working if you were wrongfully terminated. Lastly, your employer may be required to change their practices to avoid future incidents of sexual harassment.

How do I report sexual harassment in the workplace?

You can report it to a supervisor, human resources or any designated person in your company. It’s a good idea to check your employee handbook for specific procedures. Additionally, you may eventually need to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If you are worried about retaliation or if the person harassing you is high up within the company, you may want to contact an employment law attorney first to discuss how best to proceed.

What can I expect after reporting sexual harassment?

After you report sexual harassment, your employer should conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. You have the right to a workplace free from harassment, and your employer must take appropriate action to stop the harassment and prevent it from happening again.

If the problem persists or your employer does not address the situation, your next steps are to contact an attorney and/or file a formal complaint with the DFEH or EEOC. It may be necessary to pursue justice and compensation in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Can I be fired for reporting sexual harassment in California?

No, you cannot be legally fired for reporting sexual harassment. In California, it’s illegal for employers to retaliate against you for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation of sexual harassment. This means they can’t fire, demote, harass, or otherwise discriminate against you for standing up against harassment.

Do I need proof to report harassment?

You don’t need proof to report harassment, but without proof, it may be difficult to get your allegations taken seriously. The harasser will almost certainly deny behaving inappropriately and it would simply be your word against theirs.

Before reporting, you should gather any evidence you have to support your claim. This could be emails, text messages, witness statements, or any other record of the harassment.

Speak To An Attorney About Your Rights And Legal Options For Free

Based in Los Angeles, Makarem & Associates serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of Southern California. To take advantage of a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 800-610-9646 or reach out online.