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Los Angeles Harassment Lawyer

Working in a harassment-free environment is a basic workplace right and expectation that some employees unfortunately do not enjoy. The Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it illegal to harass employees due to their disability, race, religion, color, national origin, or medical condition. Employers are typically liable for the harassment if it is being done by a supervisor or if the company knows or should know that a coworker is harassing employees on these bases. An employer needs to have only one employee to be held liable for harassment.

One of the most common forms of harassment is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is nothing new at the workplace, although it is something that more and more people are beginning to speak out about. It can happen in several different ways, including physically, verbally, visually (i.e., when someone exposes their body to you at the workplace), or even by implication. Also, in California, there are two key types of sexual harassment.

The first type of sexual harassment is known as “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, which, in the Latin language, means “a thing for a thing”. This type of harassment occurs when an employment benefit is conditioned upon a sexual favor. Work benefits that might be dangled in a quid pro quo situation include but are not limited to a positive review, a good recommendation, a sought-after work assignment or schedule, a promotion, or a raise. For example, if your employer is conducting mass lay-offs, and your supervisor states that you can keep your job only if you perform a sexual favor, such as exposing part of your body to him or her, this constitutes quid pro quo sexual harassment. Even if this happens only once during your employment, it is illegal and actionable if a lawsuit is brought soon enough.

The other type of harassment one may be exposed to at the workplace is a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment occurs when there is unwelcome conduct that is severe and pervasive at work that is based on sex that a reasonable person would find offensive, intimidating, abusive or otherwise unwanted.

A hostile work environment may be created by inappropriate touching at work, but it is certainly not limited to that. It could include visual harassment, such demonstrations of inappropriate or offensive materials. For example, a supervisor who exposes himself or herself to you or requires you to be exposed to pornographic material may be creating a hostile work environment for you. A hostile work environment may also be formed by verbal harassment. For instance, sexual references, jokes and innuendos by your superiors, or in their presence, particularly after you ask them to stop can give rise a hostile work environment. Also, frequent and unwanted interactions, such as asking about your sexual life, asking to engage in sexual conduct with you, or even asking you out on dates in a frequent fashion may also give rise to a hostile work environment. Even comments and culture may add to a hostile work environment, as a hostile work environment may be created by actions or comments directed at you, conduct directed at others, or may be a result of widespread sexual favoritism.

If you believe that you are currently being harassed, please do not hesitate to contact Los Angeles Harassment Attorney David Bibiyan and his staff to discuss your rights.