Sexual harassment in the workplace has been a very hot topic this fall, after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexually harassing dozens of women in the entertainment industry. Other women have accused him of rape. After those allegations were made public, the floodgates opened with many other men in positions of power in the entertainment industry facing accusations of harassment and assault.
The entertainment industry is not the only industry that faces sexual harassment issues in the workplace. However, most victims do not have a public platform that allows them to speak out on the issue. Fortunately, there are both state and federal laws in place that make sexual harassment in the workplace illegal, and which allow for victims to obtain compensation for their damages. If you are facing sexual harassment at work, you should speak to an attorney about your legal options.
By law, sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual conduct, requests for sexual favors, and unwelcome advances. In order to be illegal under law, the sexual harassment must either negatively affect a person’s job (such as the employee being fired), or it must be so severe and frequent that it creates a hostile work environment. The harasser can be a supervisor, coworker, or even a customer.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual conduct, unwelcome advances, and requests for sexual favors. To be actionable, the sexual harassment must either negatively affect your job (such as you getting fired or demoted), or it must be so severe and frequent that it creates a hostile work environment. One common misperception about sexual harassment is that the perpetrator must be a supervisor – in fact, harassment can be committed by a supervisor, a coworker, a subcontractor, or even a customer.
Sexual harassment can be very difficult to prove. Normally, the accuser must prove that he or she did not welcome the conduct, and that the conduct was severe. If you are in the position of being sexually harassed at work, you should tell the harasser to stop. If that doesn’t put an end to it, you should complain within the company.
If you want to speak with an attorney, and you are in the Los Angeles area, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles employment attorney, at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.