When you go to work, you have the right to do your job without fear of mistreatment of any kind. Harassment of a sexual nature is reprehensible in any environment, but it is especially so in a professional setting. Victims of workplace sexual harassment are often ashamed, uncertain and afraid, but they have rights and legal options. They do not have to suffer alone.
If you have experienced treatment that makes you uncomfortable, you could be a victim of sexual harassment. California victims are often unsure if what happened counts as harassment or if they are being dramatic. They may even fear losing their jobs if they report what happened. If you find yourself thinking these things or wondering if you should speak out about what happened to you, you will find it beneficial to seek guidance from a legal professional.
Is it sexual harassment?
There are many different ways one could experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Some ways may feel more blatant, and others may be subtle to the point where you aren’t certain what happened. Some examples of sexual harassment in the workplace include:
- Sharing sexually suggestive videos, memes, jokes or gifs
- Telling jokes that are sexual in nature
- Whistling, staring or making suggestive gestures
- Making overtly sexual comments
- Inappropriate and unwanted physical contact
- Asking sexual questions to coworkers or employees
- Making offensive comments about someone’s sexual orientation or gender
- Purposefully brushing up against someone
Unfortunately, victims of sexual harassment often feel like they can’t speak up. They may feel embarrassed or they may fear some form of retaliation from their employer. They may also feel like no one will believe them if they report their experience. If these fears or others are holding you back, you don’t have to navigate your next steps alone.
Guidance from the beginning
Seeking legal guidance from the beginning can ensure you have someone advocating for your rights and protecting your interests at every step. If you experienced sexual harassment at your place of work, you don’t have to suffer in silence or fear retaliation any longer.
You could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim against your employer. An assessment of your case can help you understand the legal options available to you and how you can make sure liable parties are accountable for inappropriate actions and a hostile work environment.