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Understanding key aspects of sexual harassment

Lots of people like to say that we live in a society these days in which some people get offended too easily. However, the reality is that offensive conduct, including sexual harassment, does indeed occur in the workplace with alarming frequency. When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, our readers need to understand some of the key aspects of such a claim.

For starters, sexual harassment oftentimes includes a demand for sexual favors in exchange for something like a promotion, a raise or even to avoid being fired. The term "quid pro quo" which, in recent weeks, has become a more commonly used term throughout the country, is used to described this "If you do this, I'll do that" type of interaction.

However, sexual harassment doesn't necessarily need to entail a direct demand for sexual favors. In fact, conduct such as sexually demeaning jokes or conduct, the sharing of pornographic or lewd photos or video or even sexually offensive music being played in the workplace can all create an atmosphere at work that rises to the level of harassment.

Unfortunately, one of the tricky parts of attempting to assert a sexual harassment claim is that there isn't any one defined act or conduct that is clearly harassing in nature. Context is everything. At our law firm, we work with employees in California who believe they have been the victim of sexual harassment and who want to explore the potential for legal action. For more information, please visit the sexual harassment overview section of our law firm's website.

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