Are you the victim of sexual harassment? Perhaps someone’s behavior at work is making you uncomfortable, but you’re not certain whether the conduct rises to the level of sexual harassment. Regardless of your gender (or that of the person bothering you), if the behavior is frequent and persistent and the person hasn’t stopped after being asked to do so, it may be illegal sexual harassment.
ACTS THAT MAY BE DEEMED SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Some forms of sexual harassment — like sexual assault, indecent exposure, and stalking — are criminal offenses in California, as well as grounds for a civil action.
The following behaviors, when persistent and unwelcome, may also be considered sexual harassment:
- Direct or indirectly threatening or attempting to bribe someone for unwanted sexual activity; stating or implying that continued employment is contingent on sexual favors
- Making frequent unwelcome sexual comments or innuendo
- Boasting about the size of one’s genitalia
- Asking intrusive questions about someone’s sexuality or sexual preferences
- Sexually suggestive hand gestures, lip licking, pelvic movements, or smacking or sucking sounds
- Repeated requests for sex or dates
- Inappropriately touching, hugging, massaging, squeezing, patting, tickling, stroking, or deliberately brushing up against someone
- Rating a person’s sexual attractiveness: “she’s a perfect 10,” or “he’s a 5 at best”
- Leering or staring at a woman’s breasts or a man’s buttocks or “package.”
- Openly speculating or repeating rumors about a person’s sexuality
- Displaying or distributing pornographic or sexual material
- Using derogatory epithets: i.e. slut, bitch, whore, fag, dyke, tranny, etc.
- Sexual ridicule
- Regularly making offensive sexual or gender-related jokes
- Sending emails or notes containing sexually explicit content
TO BE HARASSMENT, BEHAVIOR MUST BE UNWANTED
Sometimes there may be a fine line between poor judgment and sexual harassment. There are no hard and fast rules on what is and is not sexual harassment (short of outright assault). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) examines the circumstances of each complaint on an individual basis to determine whether the reported behavior was an isolated or occasional occurrence, or if it represented a persistent or pervasive pattern that could be deemed harassment.
A great deal will hinge upon and the context in which the behavior occurred, whether the behavior was unwanted, and whether the fact that it was unwanted clearly communicated to the harasser.
YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED SEXUAL HARASSMENT ATTORNEY
To succeed in winning your case and recovering for emotional, psychological, and/or financial damages, and possible punitive damages, or to be reinstated if you have been terminated after reporting the harassment, you should have a experienced San Diego sexual harassment lawyer fighting for you.
THE RIGHT LAW FIRM WHEN YOU’VE BEEN HARASSED ON THE JOB
You should never allow yourself to be subjected to demeaning sexually-based behavior on the job. Everyone is entitled to work for a living in a respectful and non-hostile environment. The sexual harassment attorneys at Haeggquist, & Eck have decades of experience suing employers on behalf of clients who have suffered harassment on the job.
We are happy to offer you a free consultation in which we will review the facts of your situation, determine if you have been subjected to unlawful sexual harassment at work, and advise you of your legal rights and the proper procedure for making a claim t. Don’t continue to suffer in silence. Call Haeggquist, & Eck today.