Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney
Experienced Legal Representation for Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Claims
Why You Need a Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney
Proving Sexual Harassment at Work
One of the biggest challenges you face in any sexual harassment case is proving the truth of the situation. Evidence may seem scarce at first, and many sexual harassment cases initially appear to be one party’s word against the others. However, an experienced Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney can help you locate material evidence, records of correspondence, and statements from coworkers and former employees of your workplace to substantiate your case.
Sexual harassment also takes many forms. As a result, it’s possible for an employee to experience discomfort and hostility while at work without immediately realizing that the behavior they have been subjected to qualifies as sexual harassment. A few of the most commonly reported forms of sexual harassment in Los Angeles workplaces include:
- Unwanted sexual advances. While it’s possible for a romantic relationship to manifest between coworkers, any sexual advances or similar behavior should cease immediately once a party has asked for it to stop. For example, a coworker asking another out to dinner does not necessarily constitute sexual harassment. However, if they are refused and continue to persistently ask for dates, this can justify a sexual harassment complaint.
- Unwanted touching, groping, or similar physical contact. Any unwanted sexual contact at work can lead to a sexual harassment case. Employers should create and enforce policies that clearly state that such behavior is unacceptable, but when this type of activity occurs, the victim has the right to pursue legal action if their workplace’s internal conflict resolution channels fail to produce acceptable results.
- Sexual comments, jokes, intrusive personal questions, and sexually charged conversations. Any employee who encounters this unwanted behavior has the right to ask for it to stop, and if it does not, this could create a work environment that is hostile for the employee. If you are unsure whether such activity constitutes grounds for legal action, consult a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible.
- Quid pro quo (transactional sexual harassment). It is one of the most commonly reported forms of sexual harassment in American workplaces. Any type of suggested transaction of job-related benefits for sexual favors is unlawful. For example, if an employer offers a promotion in exchange for sex or if they demand sexual favors under threat of firing or other job-related penalties, it would be a clear example of illegal sexual harassment.
- Sexual assault. When sexual harassment escalates to physical assault or sexual violence, the perpetrator faces liability for not only a sexual harassment claim and the victim’s civil damages but also criminal prosecution. Penalties for sexual assault typically include fines, jail time, and permanent sex offender registration.
These are just the most common forms of sexual harassment reported in the state. Every workplace is different, and every work relationship will have different dynamics, but whenever a situation arises that seems to amount to sexual harassment, it’s best to consult legal counsel as soon as possible. If you have experienced sexual harassment from a coworker or a third party, like a vendor employee or contractor who periodically visits your workplace, you have the right to expect your employer to address the situation and ensure a suitable resolution. If they do not, or if your direct supervisor is the defendant responsible for the harassment you suffered, it’s likely that you will need to speak with a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney to achieve acceptable results with your claim.
Employers’ Responsibilities Regarding Sexual Harassment in Los Angeles
Every employer in Los Angeles and throughout the state is required to follow the anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws set forth by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). This agency is tasked with investigating claims of workplace discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. When an employee has experienced sexual harassment and files a claim to the EEOC, the employer must comply with the EEOC’s requests for information and other demands relevant to their investigation.
Whenever the EEOC implements new laws and regulations regarding workplace discrimination and harassment, employers are required to provide their employees with updated breakdowns of their rights and options for legal recourse should they experience sexual harassment of any kind at work. Employers are required to take internal reports of sexual harassment seriously and investigate all reports in a timely and detailed manner.
Ideally, an employer will uphold and enforce an anti-harassment policy for their workplace and immediately investigate any reports of sexual harassment from their employees. Unfortunately, many people who experience sexual harassment at work are harassed by their direct supervisors or otherwise feel as though they cannot speak out about their experiences for fear of losing their jobs. If, for any reason, the internal conflict resolution channels at your workplace have not resolved your harassment problem at work, it’s vital to reach out to a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible.
How to File Your Sexual Harassment Claim in Los Angeles
Before you can go ahead with a civil suit against the defendant responsible for the sexual harassment you experienced, you must file a complaint to the EEOC. You must submit your complaint with all supporting evidence you can gather detailing the extent of the harassment you suffered and the resulting damages. Once the EEOC receives your complaint, they will begin an investigation, and you will typically have results from this investigation within 180 days of filing your complaint.
The EEOC is likely to reach out to you to answer questions during their investigation, and your Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney can help you prepare for these interactions. The EEOC investigator assigned to your case will also contact your employer, and any interference or refusal to answer questions will lead to severe legal consequences for the employer.
If the EEOC discovers that an employer has violated federal anti-harassment or anti-discrimination laws, they will issue strict penalties that may include required training, mandatory education courses, and compulsory implementation of new, more robust anti-harassment policies in their workplaces. In the event the EEOC discovers that an employer is responsible for multiple incidents of sexual harassment affecting many current and former employees, the employer can face tremendously expensive fines based on the number of incidents and the severity of those incidents.
Once the EEOC completes its investigation and finds your complaint valid, it may initiate legal proceedings against your employer on your behalf or provide you with a Notice of Right to Sue, a legal document that enables you to file a civil suit against your employer for the harassment you suffered. Once you have this in hand, success with your subsequent civil case is likely, and your employer benefits most from a swift private settlement.
Damages Available to Sexual Harassment Victims
Many people who experience sexual harassment in their Los Angeles workplaces are not initially aware of all the damages they can claim from those responsible for their experiences. The scope of damages available to you hinges on the work-related effects of the harassment you suffered, such as job loss, demotion, or reduced pay. However, you also have the right to seek compensation for the physical pain and psychological distress you experienced, and there is no limit on this type of compensation in California sexual harassment cases.
Your attorney can help you calculate lost pay and benefits if you were fired or were forced to quit your job because of sexual harassment. You can also recover any expenses resulting from wrongful termination or forced quitting, such as the cost of new job searches, transportation, and medical expenses after losing your employer-provided health care coverage. In addition, if you were physically assaulted in any way, you could seek compensation for your medical expenses.
Most plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases are also able to recover compensatory damages equal or greater to their total economic losses and/or punitive damages to reflect the severity of the defendants’ adverse actions. When an employer is found to have intentionally violated any EEOC anti-harassment laws, they face not only heavy penalties but also punitive damages for the plaintiff. Your Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney will help you calculate the total financial impact of your experience and assist you in calculating appropriate compensation for the non-economic damages you suffered. Over the years of our firm’s operation, Diefer Law Group has successfully helped many past clients recover substantial awards from their sexual harassment claims.
What to Expect From Your Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney
When you choose Diefer Law Group to represent your sexual harassment case, our firm will do everything we can to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible as quickly as possible on your behalf. We have years of experience dealing with the EEOC and their investigators and we know the challenges you are most likely to encounter as you seek compensation for the mistreatment you experienced. Once you complete the EEOC claim process and have the ability to proceed with your civil claim, we will guide you through the next phase of your case as efficiently as possible.
Once the EEOC has approved a sexual harassment complaint, it is in the best interests of the defendant to settle the case as quickly as possible through a private settlement negotiation process. During private settlement, the parties involved in the case will meet to work out a mutually agreeable resolution to the sexual harassment case. For example, if the employee lost their job, they could be offered reinstatement and/or granted a promotion that was previously denied. If the employee has no desire to return to work for the same employer, their attorney can potentially help them secure compensation not only for back pay and lost benefits but also for the income they could have earned, as well as their other damages.
Settlement may not be possible in some cases. If a defendant refuses settlement or is unrealistic in their settlement offer to the plaintiff, the case may need to be resolved through litigation. If you need to take your sexual harassment case to court this will take much longer than settlement, and the judge overseeing the case has the final say regarding your compensation.
When you have Diefer Law Group representing you, we will seek to settle your case as quickly as possible, but if settlement is not an option for any reason, we are fully prepared to take your case to court to help you secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File an EEOC Complaint for Sexual Harassment?
A: The EEOC fields thousands of claims of sexual harassment from American workers each year, and timely submission of your claim is crucial for ensuring it receives the attention it deserves. The EEOC requires a claim to be filed no more than 300 days following the incident in question. In the time between the incident and the filing of your claim, you should work with a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney who can help you gather the evidence needed to support your case.
Q: Do I Really Need to Hire an Attorney for a Sexual Harassment Claim?
A: Even if you believe your case is straightforward and the defendant is clearly in the wrong, it is always worth having legal counsel you can trust for a sexual harassment claim. You face a very challenging series of complex legal proceedings, including your EEOC complaint filing process and your civil suit, and the right Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney will be invaluable for all these legal affairs. In addition, your attorney will not only make your claim easier to approach but also more likely to generate the results you hope to see.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Secure for Sexual Harassment in Los Angeles?
A: The total potential value of your sexual harassment case hinges on the severity of your experience and the scope of the damages caused by the defendant. You have the right to seek full compensation for any financial losses you suffered because of the sexual harassment in question, including those that have not yet been realized, such as lost future earnings. You also have the right to claim pain and suffering compensation. An experienced Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney is the best resource to consult when it comes to revealing the full extent of your claimable damages.
Q: How Long Will It Take to Settle My Sexual Harassment Case in Los Angeles?
A: The EEOC will typically deliver their determination of a sexual harassment claim within 180 days of the claim’s filing. Once you have the support of the EEOC behind your claim, you can start with your civil suit. It’s in the best interests of most defendants to settle these claims as quickly and as quietly as possible, so if you have the right attorney representing you, a swift settlement is more likely. If you cannot settle your case for any reason, you may face months of prolonged litigation.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorney?
A: It’s understandable to worry about the potential cost of legal fees when you need to hire an attorney. However, Diefer Law Group makes our representation accessible and affordable with contingency fee billing. You will not be required to pay an upfront fee for our counsel, nor do we charge ongoing fees throughout your case. Instead, you pay a percentage of your final compensation as our fee, but only if we win your case. If we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf, you pay nothing, so there is no financial risk to hiring our firm to handle your case.
Diefer Law Group has successfully represented many past clients in a wide range of complex employment law cases, including those involving sexual harassment. We develop individualized legal strategies for every client we represent, and you can rely on our team to answer questions and address concerns as they arise through all stages of your sexual harassment case. Whether you experienced an acute isolated incident or a prolonged campaign of harassment in your workplace, we can help you resolve the matter and leverage the full scope of your rights at the federal and state levels. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney you can trust.