Call Now - Free Consultation
Call Now - Free Consultation
Hablamos Español
Google Star

How to Speak Up About Sexual Harassment at Work in California? 2024

Diefer Law Group
How To Speak Up About Sexual Harassment At Work in California?

Sexual harassment can occur in various ways in any workplace in any industry. While this is unacceptable in all forms, it is, unfortunately, a persistent problem throughout the country that negatively impacts the lives of countless people each year. One of the most challenging aspects of sexual harassment is the fact that many people are unaware of their rights to put a stop to these experiences, or they are scared of losing their jobs if they speak up.

While it’s true that many people have been unfairly penalized simply for seeking help in resolving workplace harassment, the employer is typically the first line of defense for an employee who has been harassed by a coworker. Every employer in the state is required by law to have anti-harassment policies in place and a system for investigating and resolving claims of workplace sexual harassment.

Diefer Law Group regularly assists employees in various industries with sexual harassment claims. One of the most common concerns we hear from our clients is their fear of speaking out due to the perceived risk of losing their jobs. It is vital to remember that you legally cannot be fired for reporting sexual harassment. If you are unfairly penalized for making any legally protected action, this could not only lead to you recovering compensation for the sexual harassment you experienced but also further recovery of punitive damages from your employer for breaking state and US law.

Reporting Sexual Harassment in Your Workplace

Whenever an employer is made aware of sexual harassment of any kind, they are required to investigate the issue. They must also have a process in place for putting a stop to such behavior, which may include sensitivity training, mandatory coursework for harassers, or simply firing employees who create hostile work environments for their coworkers.

If your employer is the one harassing you, it’s natural to feel scared of speaking out because you believe you will lose your job. Remember that filing a report of sexual harassment at work in good faith is a legally protected action. If you cannot rely on your employer to help, you must escalate the issue by reporting the incident to the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). A representative can provide guidance for what you should do next, which will likely be filing a report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC is required to investigate reports of discrimination and harassment in American workplaces. If you have been unsuccessful in addressing your issue through internal conflict resolution channels at work and the guidance provided by the DFEH, the EEOC is your next stop for the help you need. An experienced employment law attorney can provide guidance and support for the EEOC claim filing process. If the EEOC investigates and determines that you did experience harassment of any kind at work, you will have grounds to pursue a civil action against the party harassing you.

FAQs

Q: How Do I Report Workplace Harassment?

A: The first level of escalation after experiencing workplace sexual harassment is to notify your employer immediately. However, if they do not address the problem or if your employer is the one harassing you, the next level of escalating the issue would be contacting the DFEH. A representative can provide guidance about resolving the situation, which may include a complaint to the EEOC.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Report Sexual Harassment?

A: If you experience any type of harassment in your workplace, it is always advisable to file your report as soon as possible. However, the formal statute of limitations for filing a workplace harassment claim to the DFEH is one year from the date of the last incident you experienced. The sooner you report the incident, the easier it will be for you to collect any evidence you may need to substantiate your claim.

Q: Can I Sue My Employer for a Hostile Work Environment?

A: A hostile work environment can develop whenever any type of harassment prevents you from performing your job duties. If you have experienced harassment and your employer is either directly responsible for it or has done nothing to resolve the problem, you have the right to pursue legal recourse and collect compensation for any damages you suffered. These damages may include compensatory damages like back pay or lost benefits and compensation for your emotional distress. You can also receive punitive damages depending on the nature of the harassment you experienced.

Q: What Happens if My Employer Ignores My Report of Harassment?

A: Your first option for resolving workplace harassment is to utilize internal conflict resolution channels in your workplace and report the issue to your employer. However, if they do not resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you will need to escalate the issue to the DFEH or the EEOC. Consult an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to determine the most viable steps to take to resolve the situation.

Q: What Are the Penalties for Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

A: Penalties for workplace harassment of any kind can be severe. If an employee has committed sexual harassment, they face losing their job. For an employer, penalties can include fines and other penalties assigned at the discretion of the DFEH and the EEOC, as well as liability for the victim’s damages. If that harassment escalated to the point of physical harm, the harasser faces criminal prosecution for sexual battery, which can lead to heavy fines, imprisonment, and sex offender registration.

Diefer Law Group provides responsive and compassionate legal counsel to victims of sexual harassment in workplaces. If you are unsure how to address the harassment you have experienced at work and need legal counsel you can trust, it’s vital to speak with a legal representative with experience handling these cases. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a seasoned employment attorney and learn how our firm can assist you with your case.

Abel Fernandez

Abel Fernandez

Attorney Abel Fernandez believes in the aggressive representation of injured workers. Workers’ compensation law is a very difficult and frustrating area of the law. Employees routinely have medical treatment and benefits delayed or denied by insurance companies. Mr. Fernandez fights for the rights of the injured worker to get medical treatment and the maximum amount of benefits possible. We have experience fighting the insurance company and adjusters, and we are committed to obtaining the best outcome possible for our clients.


Fill Out the Form Below for a Free Consultation

Name(Required)
Preferred Language(Required)

By contacting Diefer Law Group, you agree to receive emails, text messages, and phone calls regarding your legal inquiry, which may be considered advertising material. Emails, text messages, and phone calls may be automatically generated using the information from this contact form to better coordinate communication. You understand that your consent to this is not necessary to obtain legal services from Diefer Law Group. Messaging and data rates may apply.

get your
free case
evaluation

Los Angeles
355 South Grand Avenue Suite 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Riverside
6670 Alessandro Blvd Suite H,
Riverside CA, 92506

Irvine
2030 Main Street Suite 1356
Irvine, CA 92614

Dana Point
34204 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629

San Diego
12636 High Bluff Drive Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92130

WE HAVE OFFICES ALL OVER SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

WE ARE TAKING IN-PERSON APPOINTMENTS ON A CASE-BY-CASE AND ARE AVAILABLE
FOR PHONE AND VIDEO CONSULTATIONS, PURSUANT TO THE SAFER AT HOME ORDER.

Diefer Law Group, P.C.

Irvine

2030 Main Street
Suite 1356
Irvine, CA 92614

(949) 799-1860

San Diego

12636 High Bluff Drive
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92130

(619) 728-3990

Los Angeles

355 South Grand Avenue
Suite 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 973-6142

Riverside

6670 Alessandro Blvd
Suite H,
Riverside CA, 92506

(951) 470-1862

Dana Point

34204 Pacific Coast
Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 799-1534

es_MXES
Scroll to Top

Let Us Help!

Fill Out the Form Below to Book Your Free, No Obligation Consultation

Request a Free Consultation

Name(Required)
Preferred Language(Required)

By contacting Diefer Law Group, you agree to receive emails, text messages, and phone calls regarding your legal inquiry, which may be considered advertising material. Emails, text messages, and phone calls may be automatically generated using the information from this contact form to better coordinate communication. You understand that your consent to this is not necessary to obtain legal services from Diefer Law Group. Messaging and data rates may apply.