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What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work in California? 2024

Diefer Law Group
What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Harassed At Work In California?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unfortunately pervasive issue across all industries in the United States. Each year, thousands of employees in California and across the country experience various forms of sexual harassment, all of which are illegal under federal law. However, many people are unaware of their legal protections and the options available to them. It is possible to stop workplace sexual harassment and recover compensation for any damages they have sustained from this behavior.

If you have recently experienced anything you believe to be sexual harassment at work in California, it is vital to know the process for putting a stop to this behavior. Everyone working in every industry has the right to a harassment-free workplace, and every employer has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent this behavior among their employees. If you believe you have grounds for a sexual harassment claim, time is a critical factor, and you need to work quickly to ensure the most acceptable results for your legal efforts.

Reporting Sexual Harassment

The first step to take after experiencing sexual harassment is to tell the harasser their behavior is unwelcome and unwanted and ask them to stop. You should notify your supervisor of the issue, but if your supervisor is the one who harassed you, you will need to report the problem to their direct supervisor. You have the right to demand that action be taken to prevent further harassment. It is important that you investigate internal conflict resolution options in your workplace before proceeding to more serious forms of legal recourse.

If your employer does nothing to stop the harassment in question, or if you are treated unfairly or fired for your report, you need to consult a California employment attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will review the details of your claim and help you determine your most viable options for legal recourse.

Filing an EEOC Complaint

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the government agency responsible for investigating all reports of workplace discrimination and harassment in the U.S. If you are sexually harassed at work and your employer does not take appropriate corrective action, an attorney can help you file a complaint to the EEOC and have them investigate the matter.

If the EEOC determines that you were sexually harassed, they will recommend the next steps to take in pursuing accountability. They may issue you a Notice of Right to Sue that allows you to proceed with a civil suit against your harasser with the EEOC’s support. In some cases, the EEOC will initiate legal action against an employer and recommend specific penalties.

You have a limited time in which to file an EEOC complaint after experiencing sexual harassment in your workplace, and once you file your complaint, your attorney can help you proceed with the next phase of your case. A successful civil claim against your harasser could yield compensation for any economic damages you incurred from the harassment, your pain and suffering, and compensatory damages awarded according to federal law. Diefer Law Group can assist you with all aspects of your legal efforts in response to workplace sexual harassment in California.

FAQs

Q: What Is the First Thing to Do if You Are Sexually Harassed at Work?

A: You should immediately report the harassment to your supervisor or your supervisor’s boss if they are the one who harassed you. Ask for something to be done to stop the harassment and hold the at-fault party accountable. If the internal conflict resolution channels in your workplace produce no acceptable results, you should reach out to an experienced sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible.

Q: Should I Quit My Job if I’m Being Sexually Harassed?

A: Your first response to sexual harassment should not be to quit your job. If you leave your job voluntarily, you could be placing yourself in a difficult financial situation, and you will not be able to seek compensation for wages you essentially gave up willingly. You have the right to a workplace free of harassment, so you should report the issue to management and demand a response. If no acceptable action is taken to correct the problem, you should consult an attorney. If you are fired for reporting sexual harassment, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination claim.

Q: Can I Recover Financial Compensation for Sexual Harassment?

A: Yes, you can seek compensation for any damages you incurred due to the sexual harassment you experienced, and your employer could also be liable for compensatory or punitive damages. A good attorney will help you calculate all of the damages you can include in your claim to maximize your case award. Federal law limits how much the victim of sexual harassment can receive in compensatory or punitive damages based on the total number of employees the employer has.

Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Sexual Harassment Complaint in California?

A: A sexual harassment lawsuit will typically begin with a claim to the EEOC, and you must file this claim within 180 days of the harassment you experienced. This is not a lot of time in which to file your complaint. Since you will need to gather supporting evidence, it is ideal to consult an attorney you can trust as soon as possible after experiencing any sexual harassment at work.

Q: Will the Party Who Harassed Me Go to Jail?

A: Sexual harassment could lead to liability for civil damages and compensatory damages to the victim, and an employer may face fines and other penalties depending on the scope of the harassment in question. However, criminal charges are only likely to come into play if the harassment reached the level of sexual assault.

Get in Touch With Us at Diefer Law Group

Diefer Law Group knows you probably have lots of pressing legal questions in the aftermath of an incident of sexual harassment, and we can provide the legal guidance you need in this situation. Our firm has years of experience helping clients in California with all types of employment law cases, including sexual harassment claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the legal services we offer.

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.


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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.