Sadly, sexual harassment is still a part of our cultural and workplace landscape. While movements such as #MeToo have helped to push the issue to the forefront, there is no doubt, there is still much left to be done.
Tens of thousands of people are sexually harassed at work each year in the United States. Should you find yourself in the awful position of experiencing sexual harassment at work, whether it be in San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles or anywhere else in California, how you react is very important.
It is important to note, that while women do experience sexual harassment at a higher rate than men do, the regrettable truth is that men experience sexual harassment at work more often than you might think. It is also a mistake to think that all sexual harassment happes between members of the opposite sex. Male-on-male and female-on-female harassment happens in the workplace too.
Sexual harassment, like other sexual crimes, is never the fault of the victim. It must be understood that these types of behaviors are a reflection of the perpetrator and most often the choice of victim has to do with power and opportunity. Every potential case of sexual harassment must be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
There are two main types of sexual harassment:
A Quid Pro Quo Violation
This is when an employer or supervisor offers or implies a raise, promotion or other reward will be given in exchange for sexual favors or threatens or implies that employment or opportunities could be jeopardized if sexual advances are denied.
A Hostile Work Environment
A hostile work environment occurs when an employer or supervisor encourages, allows, overlooks, or creates an environment that is unsafe or uncomfortable to work in because of the occurrence of sexual harassment or discrimination.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
It is important to remember that sexual harassment can be committed in many ways, which include, but are not limited to:
- Physical contact
- verbal or written comments of a sexual nature
- explicit photographs
- explicit text messages or emails
What You Should Do If You Experience Sexual Harassment at Work
If you are made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable at your place of work because of the behavior of any other employee that you consider sexual in nature you need to take action immediately to protect yourself. If you are unsure, you should contact a sexual harassment Lawyer in San Diego like The Law Offices of Stephen B. Morris. They know how to handle supervisor sexual harassment in San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange County and Southern California. The consultation is free and there are no upfront charges.
It is of the utmost importance that you document as much of the harassment as you can. You should not have to be the one to be responsible for documenting and proving the harassment, but that is an unfortunate aspect of the situation. You will need to be able to prove to Human Resources within your company or to a court that the harassment has occurred. Keep copies of any sexually explicit texts, emails or other communications, a dated journal of events, and try to be aware of who the people are who have witnessed and can collaborate what has happened.
Your very first actionable step should be to make it very clear in no uncertain terms to your harasser personally that the behavior is unwanted and you consider it harassment. If you are not comfortable doing this in person, an email or text works as well, and can even be considered part of your documentation process. This may put an end to the behavior, but if it does not, you will need to take additional steps.
Check Your Employee Manual and ApproachHuman Resources
Most employers have a sexual harassment procedure in place, this should be easily available in the employee manual or handbook. This will give you an indication of how and to whom you should report the harassment.
If You Need a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in San Diego
If the harassment continues or your company fails to react appropriately you will need to find a lawyer. If you are looking for a sexual harassment lawyer in San Diego contact The Law Offices of Stephen B. Morris.