At Urbanic & Associates, Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyer James Urbanic has nearly two decades of experience representing people who have been the targets of sexual harassment at work. Dedicated to championing workers’ rights – and holding employers accountable for their illegal actions, Attorney James Urbanic is ready to help you:
- Determine if you have a sexual harassment case
- Identify your best options for fighting back
- Pursue all available legal remedies.
WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT DEFINED:
HAVE I BEEN THE VICTIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORK?
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) defines workplace sexual harassment as subjecting a worker to offensive behavior, language or displays of a sexual nature or based on the worker’s sex/gender.
While this legal definition may seem clear, in real-world circumstances, it can be challenging to know if or when workplace sexual harassment has occurred. That’s because some forms of sexual harassment can be far more subtle and less obvious than others.
Specifically, the forms of workplace sexual harassment can include:
- Physical contact, such as unwanted touching, acts of assault, and blocking movements
- Verbal, written or digital statements, like offering jobs (or benefits or promotions) in exchange for sexual favors, making comments about someone’s body, sending someone sexually charged notes or emails, telling sexual jokes (even if they are not specifically directed at someone), and using slurs or epithets
- Gestures or physical actions, such as leering or making sexually explicit gestures
- Displays, like putting up sexually graphic images or exhibiting objects that are sexually suggestive in nature.
Here, it’s also crucial to point out that:
- Sexual harassment at work can occur between people of the same gender – In other words, a harasser and victim do not need to be different genders in order for an act of sexual harassment to have taken place.
- Sexual desire is not a factor – An act of sexual harassment at work can occur even if the perpetrator was not attracted to the victim or the act was not necessarily targeted at the victim. For instance, a joke or display that is sexual in nature can constitute workplace sexual harassment regardless of whether the joke or display was specifically aimed at the victim.
- The FEHA requires California employers to take reasonable steps to try to prevent workplace sexual harassment – and to take prompt action to properly investigate any allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’VE BEEN THE TARGET OF WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
If you think you’ve been subjected to workplace sexual harassment, it’s important that you:
- Record the details of the incident – Document what exactly what happened, when it occurred and who was involved. Be sure to note as many details as possible, such as the date and time of the incident, where it happened, whether there were witnesses and what happened immediately after. These details can be crucial later when it’s time to move forward with a sexual harassment claim.
- Save any evidence you have – Whether it’s an email, a photo, a written note or some other piece evidence, be sure you keep it. Any and all evidence you have regarding the act(s) of harassment can back up your allegations when it’s time to proceed with your case.
- Report the incident to your employer – No matter how minor or insignificant you think an act of sexual harassment was, be sure to file a report with your employer. This can help document a pattern of workplace sexual harassment – and it may be necessary before you can move forward with a formal lawsuit against your employer.
Contact a sexual harassment lawyer ASAP – An attorney can review the details of your situation and inform you of your rights and options. A lawyer can also help you build and present a strong sexual harassment case, positioning your claim for success. When workplace sexual harassment claims are successful, they can result in remedies that include (but may not be limited to):
- Damages for emotional distress
- Back pay
- Job reinstatement
START PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS NOW
To talk to Attorney James Urbanic, call (310) 216-0900 or email our firm via the contact form on this page. When you contact us, you can get clear, uncomplicated answers about your rights, your potential case, and your various options for justice.