Sexual Harassment Lawyers Representing Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment in San Diego
Every worker has the right to a workplace free from intimidation and fear but fortunately, this is not the case for some employees in San Diego. Our sexual harassment lawyers at our firm understand that sexual harassment in the workplace is a traumatic experience and that you may not feel comfortable discussing it. We take a sensitive approach and guide our clients through each step of the legal process answering any questions that they have to ease them during their time of distress.
The harassment attorneys at Melmed Law Group P.C. have significant experience litigating sexual harassment claims, and we don’t just fight for our clients in San Diego, we’re here to help them heal and move forward.
We fight on a contingency plan and offer a free 15-minute consultation with a sexual harassment lawyer serving San Diego to help you evaluate your options, and determine the best plan of action for you.
First, if you think you’re a victim of sexual harassment, review your company’s sexual harassment policy to understand the company’s policies and procedures for reporting an issue. Your complaint to your human resources department should be in writing. Maintain records of each incident of harassment with the date and time and the individuals who were a part of the incident or who witnessed it. Save any emails, memos, or other supporting documentation.
Next, go through your employer’s process to report the harassment (if there is such a policy). Note that sometimes, if you don’t report the conduct in any way, it may affect your ability to move forward and make a claim against your employer. If that’s the case, you can also use your company’s supervisors and coworkers who can be found personally liable for their harassment.
Then, review the company’s response.
If you believe that you’re experiencing illegal harassment at your job and want to seek compensation for your injuries, contact the San Diego sexual harassment lawyers at Melmed Law Group P.C.
Our knowledgeable sexual harassment attorneys can answer your questions and determine how to proceed in San Diego County. In many cases, the next step is to file a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the state agency responsible for protecting San Diegans from unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. If the DFEH determines that an individual’s civil rights have been violated, the department can pursue damages on your behalf. Similarly, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal sexual harassment and anti-discrimination laws.
If you report sexual harassment, your employer may retaliate against you, and such retaliation may also be a form of wrongful termination, demotion, reduction in hours of employment, denial of a deserved bonus or raise, relocation to a different department, or exposure to a less favorable condition of employment. This type of retaliation is illegal.
Therefore, it’s highly suggested for anyone experiencing sexual harassment to document the behaviors, gather evidence through copies of internal correspondence, photos, and statements from employees, then speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
If you feel that you are experiencing retaliation and sexual harassment, contact the San Diego sexual harassment attorneys at Melmed Law Group P.C. Employment Lawyers.
Our sexual harassment lawyers will help you document all the actions and behaviors, collect evidence, and take witness statements from co-workers in order to get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim?
There are strict limitations to bringing a sexual harassment claim. To figure out your time limitations, call our office to speak to an attorney to figure out the time limitations. Failing to do so may prevent you from recovering any damages at all.
San Diego County rules for sexual harassment derives from the rules that were created by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which applies on a federal level.
The California Attorney General says that sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
These state and federal laws make it unlawful to harass a person—either a job applicant or an employee—because of their sex. Harassment can include sexual harassment, requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual kind.
It’s important to know that harassment need not be of a sexual nature. It can include offensive remarks about a person’s gender and California law says the offensive conduct may be based upon an employee’s (actual or perceived) sex or gender identity, (actual or perceived) sexual orientation, and/or pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
In California, the reported incidences of sexual harassment are 5% higher for women and 10% higher for men than the national average, according to a study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. In addition, more than 86% of women in California (compared with 81% nationally) and 53% of men (compared with 43% nationally) reported having experienced some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.
This means that you or someone you know in the San Diego metro area has most likely experienced illegal sexual harassment.
According to the policies provided by EEOC, you may be a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace if you are subjected to:
- Unwelcome sexual advances;
- Unwelcome requests for sexual favors;
- Unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature;
- Unwelcome verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature;
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment. (trading sex or sexual favors in exchange for higher pay or a promotion or some other favorable employment opportunity)
In California, it is unlawful for anyone to harass any person based on their sex. In the workplace, sexual harassment can be in the form of comments, requests, verbal conduct of a sexual nature, gestures, and unwanted physical contact that turns a workplace into a hostile and intimidating environment.
Specific forms of sexual harassment are:
- Sexual favors in exchange for a promotion.
- Unwanted touching including deliberate touching, leaning over, hugging, and patting.
- Unwanted gestures like blowing kisses.
- Telling sexual jokes and asking sexual questions.
- Repeated pressure for dates.
- Whistling at or catcalling someone.
- Stores of a sexual or suggestive nature.
- Purposefully standing close to someone.
Further, a victim may not be a ‘direct’ victim; someone who witnessed sexual harassment, or who is subject to a sexually hostile work environment, may also have actionable claims for sexual harassment under state and federal law.
While the laws don’t preclude innocent teasing, offhand comments, or isolated minor incidents, harassment is illegal when it occurs so often or is so severe that it creates an offensive or hostile work environment… or when it causes an adverse employment decision (such as the victim’s termination or demotion at work).
The individual who’s harassing the victim can be the victim’s manager, another manager or executive in the company, a co-worker, and even a person who’s not an employee like a consultant, a vendor, or a customer.
The San Diego sexual harassment lawyers at Melmed Law Group P.C. explain that if you are thinking that your current work conditions may be a hostile work environment, look at these examples to see if your employment situation satisfied the legal requirements of a hostile work environment:
- The behavior at your place of employment is discriminatory against gender, race, religion, age, orientation, disability, or nation of origin (categories protected by the Equal Opportunity Commission);
- A reasonable person would find your work environment hostile or abusive;
- The conduct at your job has become a pervasive and long-lasting problem;
- Your employer didn’t investigate your concerns;
- Your desire or ability to work has been impacted; or
- Your employer knew about hostile behavior but didn’t do anything to address the issue.
Free Consultation with a San Diego Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you or someone you know is or was a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in San Diego or San Diego County, contact the sexual harassment lawyers at Melmed Law Group P.C. Employment Lawyers for a free consultation with one of our lawyers. We offer a free 15-minute consultation with a sexual harassment lawyer to help you evaluate your options, and determine the best plan of action for you.
All employees in every position have the right to a work environment that’s free from intimidation and fear. The sexual harassment lawyers serving San Diego at Melmed Law Group P.C know that sexual harassment in the workplace is a stressful and debilitating experience. Contact us for guidance through each step of the legal process.
If you or someone you know is or was a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in San Diego or San Diego County, reach out to us for a free consultation with one of our San Diego sexual harassment lawyers. You can reach us at 619-493-3794 or at our law firm located at 402 West Broadway #400, San Diego, CA. Reach out now for a free confidential consultation and learn what we can do for you.