Many sexual harassment claims are filed because a workplace has become a hostile environment. This means that the offensive conduct, based on the sex of the victim, is so severe and pervasive that a reasonable person would see the environment as hostile or abusive. A hostile environment is created by employees (or even non-employees) who, for instance, engage in conversation that is sexually offensive or display sexually explicit pictures. Employers have a legal obligation to make sure that the workplace is not a hostile environment. If your workplace is intolerable, contact an attorney to discuss a possible hostile environment sexual harassment claim.
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Sexual Harassment - An Overview
Sexual harassment is not a joke. While to some it may seem like harmless horseplay, it deprives others of dignity and equality. Victims of sexual harassment have well-established rights under federal law and, in many cases, under state law. A knowledgeable employment law attorney from Allred, Maroko & Goldberg in Los Angeles, CA, can advise you on protecting your rights.
Sexual harassment is discrimination
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination. Sexual harassment may consist of sexual requests from a superior, tied to the quality of the employee's job or benefits, or it can be the inappropriate behavior of one or more co-workers. It is forbidden by federal civil rights law and by numerous state anti-discrimination laws. These laws give you specific rights and remedies if you experience sexual harassment in the workplace.
Sexual harassment is not just illegal; it is harmful. The most common injuries suffered by victims of sexual harassment are emotional. Victims of sexual harassment often feel powerless, developing low self-esteem. In some cases, they believe that they are to blame for the harassment or for letting it go on as long as it did.
Sexual harassment can cause a serious financial burden as well. An employee may be denied a raise or passed over for a promotion because he or she refused a superior's sexual demands. The employee may even give up a job rather than continue to work in a hostile environment.
Sexual harassment is about power at least as much as it is about sex. Your harasser may have told you that you are powerless to stop the harassment. Your harasser is wrong: there is much that you can do to stop harassment. The law gives you the power and the tools you need to fight back against harassment. File a complaint with your employer about sexual harassment. If your complaint does not bring results, file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state's human rights or civil rights agency. Seek a lawyer's help. You may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries, whether they are financial, emotional or both.
You also have the right to be free from retaliation by your employer. Federal law protects employees who make complaints about sexual harassment (or about other illegal conduct or discrimination) from retaliation by their employers.
Speak to an employment law attorney
You do not have to tolerate sexual harassment. You have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. You should settle for nothing less, especially at your workplace. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, there are many things you can do to stand up for your rights. An experienced employment law attorney from Allred, Maroko & Goldberg in Los Angeles, CA, can help you take the action you need to take.
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