San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Are you a victim of sexual harassment?
As women have continued to enter and advance in the workplace, they have too often been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Although sexual harassment is most commonly directed toward women, in some cases it is directed towards men. So long as the harassment in question is "based on sex," it is unlawful. In addition, some employees may experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation.
The law prohibits an employer from making decisions based upon stereotypes, presumptions about abilities, traits or the performance of individuals on the basis of sex or gender. Although the terms "sex" and "gender" are often interchangeable, "sex" discrimination refers to discrimination based on an individual’s biological identity as male or female while "gender" discrimination refers to discrimination based on characteristics of an individual that are culturally associated with masculinity or femininity. The law forbids employers from discriminating against individuals based on sex, gender or both.
This may include vulgar and profane remarks directed towards the employee, inappropriate and unwanted touching or other lewd conduct, or demands from a boss for sexual favors as a condition for continued employment, raises, or bonuses. All of this conduct constitutes sexual harassment, and is unlawful under Federal, state, and local law. As an employee, you are entitled to a workplace free of sexual harassment. At Ladva Law Firm, our attorneys represent employees who are facing or who have faced sexual harassment.
Types of Sexual Harassment
The claim of sexual harassment can take two forms. The first is that you have been subjected to a hostile environment because of conduct exhibited by your colleagues or supervisors to such an extent that it creates an abusive working environment. You need not prove an economic loss, such as failure to secure pay raises, to be successful. California courts have held that the test for a sexual harassment claim is whether the sexual conduct was unwelcome by you. The fact that you were forced to engage in a sexual activity of course would be considered unwelcome, but there are other instances when you have participated willingly, for perhaps fear of reprisal, that nevertheless will be considered unwelcome and permit you to seek money damages.
The second form of sexual harassment is known as "quid pro quo," which requires an economic loss to be occasioned before your complaint can succeed. These losses may include firing, a failure to receive a raise or promotion, or other direct loss of remuneration in the work place.
A few examples of possible sex or gender discrimination include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
- employer provides benefits to the wives and families of male employees but the same benefits are not available to the husbands and families of female employees.
- Your employer refuses to hire you or to promote you because, as a woman, you are not as tough as a man or because, as a man, you are not considered as sensitive as a woman.
- Your employer gives you above average reviews, but you are frequently passed over for promotions that are filled by less qualified and less senior individuals of the opposite sex.
- Your employer is stricter with you and other coworkers of the same sex as you than he/she is with coworkers of the opposite sex.
- Members of the opposite sex are paid more than you and other coworkers of the same sex as you.
- Company policies that seem neutral are actually not because they have the effect of excluding individuals on the basis of sex.
Sexual harassment is a problem that needs to be dealt with aggressively. If you are a victim of this type of abuse, contact Ladva Law Firm immediately at 415-296-8844.