Practice Area

Canoga Park Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Canoga Park Sexual Harassment Attorney

Canoga Park Sexual Harassment Attorney

Sexual harassment in the workplace is something that workers should never have to put up with. In many situations, employers could be held accountable for this type of harassment. Victims have avenues of redress available to them, and a Canoga Park sexual harassment lawyer, like those at Bluestone Law, can help them pursue resolution. At Bluestone Law, our qualified employment attorneys are dedicated to making our clients’ strongest case and seeking justice on their behalf.

What Is Sexual Harassment at Work?

Sexual harassment refers to sexual behavior that is unwelcome in the workplace. This behavior could lead a worker to feel uncomfortable at work. Generally, there are two kinds of sexual harassment in the workplace that can lead to legal repercussions for employers. They are:

  • Quid Pro Quo Harassment. This kind of harassment involves an employee being propositioned for sexual favors by a superior, and in exchange, they will provide some kind of job-related benefit. For instance, a supervisor or manager may hire someone, not fire or discipline a worker, give a promotion, or offer better job benefits in exchange for sexual favors.

  • Hostile Work Environment Harassment. When it’s persistent, pervasive, or severe, sexual harassment can create a hostile work environment. This could include conduct such as lewd jokes, inappropriate gestures, unwelcome sexual contact or propositioning, or other offensive sexual behavior.

Employers have a responsibility to address sexual harassment in the workplace. Specifically, they should have policies designed to address sexual harassment and mechanisms for reporting any sexual harassment that occurs. When sexual harassment is reported, they have a duty to promptly investigate and address the situation. Failure to meet these responsibilities could lead to them being liable for future instances of sexual harassment.

What Laws Protect Workers From Sexual Harassment?

Workers are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace by both federal and California laws. These laws describe what is prohibited in the workplace and the institutions to which workers can turn for redress.

The federal laws addressing workplace sexual harassment include:

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of this law created protections for workers against discrimination based on protected characteristics. One of those protected characteristics is sex, and under the law, sexual harassment is deemed a type of sex discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established by this law and serves as the means by which employees who have faced sexual harassment at work can seek redress.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991. This act served to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It provides the opportunity for sexual harassment victims to collect additional damages, such as compensatory and punitive damages.

In addition to the federal protections, the state of California offers additional means of redress under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The law applies to employers with five or more employees and offers additional protections for employees and requirements for employers. Claims under this law are generally handled by the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment.

What Does a Canoga Park Sexual Harassment Lawyer Do?

A Canoga Park sexual harassment lawyer, like those at Bluestone Law, can represent and advocate for you as you seek redress for the sexual harassment you’ve experienced at work. Typically, an attorney begins this process by discussing the situation with you and determining whether there is an actionable case. Depending on the circumstances, there may be different courses of action available to you. Our attorneys can help you understand these options, along with their risks and potential benefits.

One option that may be considered is trying to settle the case rather than going through the full legal process. A settlement can often be quicker than litigation and avoids some of the risks that come with putting the decision in someone else’s hands. A settlement could involve fair compensation, a change in workplace policies, or other means of addressing the harassment that you suffered. Our experience in negotiations can often be critical to receiving a strong settlement offer.

In some cases, your employer and their representation may make it impossible to reach a settlement, in which case it may be necessary to take the pathway of litigation instead. This process often begins with filing a claim, which will involve a significant amount of paperwork and documentation.

As your representative, your lawyer can help ensure that this complicated process of filing the claim is prepared correctly and submitted to the proper offices. This is critical, as any kind of error in this submission process could lead to delays and even the rejection of your claim.

Once your claim is submitted, we may be able to put some pressure on the right parties to see that your claim is evaluated in a timely fashion. There could be requests for further documentation and information, which we can help provide. It’s also possible that there will be hearings and even appeals if your initial claim is rejected. We can ensure that every legal option available to you is considered.

When Do I Need to File a Sexual Harassment Claim?

The deadline to file a sexual harassment claim will differ depending on where you are filing the claim and under what regulations the claim is being filed. Generally, if your claim will be filed under California law through the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, it needs to be filed within one year of the incident in question. The timeline is slightly shorter if you are going through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where a claim needs to be filed within 300 days.

There is a work-sharing agreement between the EEOC and California, which means that when a claim is filed with one agency, it’s considered to be filed with the other as well. This can often help with ensuring that deadlines are met.

There may be some exceptions or different deadlines if your claim will need to be submitted to a different agency. This is why it’s important to talk with a lawyer soon after you’ve been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace. They can help identify the timeline that will apply to your claim.

What Happens if an Employer Retaliates for a Sexual Harassment Claim?

One worry that many employees have regarding coming forward with a sexual harassment claim is concern about how it could impact their jobs. However, there are protections that prohibit any kind of retaliation against workers. Retaliation is prohibited against employees who file a claim against their employer, participate in another employee’s claim, or whistleblowing against their company.

Retaliation could include a variety of improper actions on the part of the employer, including giving the employee worse schedules or work duties, making the workplace unbearable, refusing to give earned promotions or raises in compensation, or even wrongfully terminating the employee. Under California Labor Code Section 1102.5, employers who engage in these actions could face significant penalties.

What to Do if You’ve Been Subject to Sexual Harassment at Work

If you face any kind of sexual harassment at work, there are a few different things you can do that may be helpful in seeking redress. In particular, you’ll want to ensure that you practice thorough documentation. You should try to document everything that you can regarding the incident.

Make note of important facts like locations, dates and times, the individuals involved, and what occurred. You should also continue to document what happens afterward, including what your employer does when the situation is brought to their attention. It is usually better to document more than you think you may need. Your attorney can always sort out the most important elements later.

You should report the harassment internally by whatever means are available to you. This could mean going to a supervisor, human resources, or a dedicated phone line. Internal reporting, though, may not solve the case. If the problem persists and is not taken seriously, it’s important that you talk with a Canoga Park sexual harassment attorney. They can help you understand the next steps you should take and whether filing a claim against your employer will be the right course of action.

Get Help From a Canoga Park Sexual Harassment Lawyer

When sexual harassment happens at work, the victim’s employer may be found responsible. There are legal means available for employees to seek redress when they are victims of sexual harassment. However, the process of doing so can often be challenging, as it can be complicated and difficult to be sure that you follow the proper steps.

A Canoga Park sexual harassment lawyer can be crucial to giving you the strongest opportunity at a fair resolution. At Bluestone Law, we are dedicated to pursuing justice for our clients and can make your case aggressively to ensure you receive what you deserve. We are prepared to represent our clients during settlement negotiations or litigation to pursue a fair remedy for their circumstances. If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment at work, contact us to find out how we may be able to help you.

Canoga Park Sexual Harassment Lawyer