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Verbal Sexual Harassment
Workplace sexual harassment comes in many different forms. These include not only physical assault or inappropriate touching, but also verbal remarks, inappropriate comments, and words that condition your employment on submitting to sexual advances. Often, women or men who are sexually harassed in the workplace feel mortified and humiliated. Verbal harassment can feel degrading even if it was not accompanied by touching or assault. If you were harmed by verbal sexual harassment, you should consult the Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers at the Kokozian Law Firm. You may be able to recover monetary damages by filing a civil lawsuit.Verbal Sexual Harassment
Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit sexual harassment. Title VII applies to employers that have a minimum of 15 employees. Generally, FEHA provides greater protections against sexual harassment than does Title VII, but the strategy in each case must be considered on its own merits. In California, verbal sexual harassment can include verbal contact or conduct, along with verbal advances. It can include sexual jokes or improper remarks about your body or how you look.The Fair Employment and Housing Act
FEHA forbids verbal harassment on the basis of sex, among other forms of sexual harassment. An employer can be liable for verbal harassment by another employee if it knew or should have known about the harassment but failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. FEHA requires your employer to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment. Your employer should not retaliate against you for complaining about verbal sexual harassment or opposing verbal sexual harassment. To bring a lawsuit under FEHA, you must first file a charge with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Verbal sexual harassment may consist of quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment harassment, or a combination of these. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs if a manager, supervisor, or other workplace authority figure grounds the terms and conditions of your employment on submitting to unwelcome sexual requests. For example, if your manager offers to promote you in exchange for dating him, this is quid pro quo sexual harassment, even if he used only words without physical touching. Similarly, if he threatens to demote you if you refuse to date him, this would also be quid pro quo sexual harassment.
When verbal remarks are severe or pervasive, they may constitute hostile work environment harassment, regardless of whether these remarks are made by your supervisor, manager, coworker, customer, or client. For example, if your coworker repeatedly comments on your figure, this is sexual harassment. You should let your coworker know that these comments are unwelcome and notify HR of the harassment to give your employer a chance to rectify the situation. An employer that does not adequately address verbal sexual harassment may be held liable for damages with the assistance of a sexual harassment lawyer.
In Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, courts examine a sexual harassment claim from the point of view of a reasonable person in the employee’s shoes. Factors that the court will consider include the nature of the verbal harassment and how offensive it is, as well as how often and for how long the harassment occurred and the circumstances under which the harassment occurred.Discuss Your Claim with a Los Angeles Attorney
It can be challenging to establish a claim based on verbal sexual harassment, but you deserve to be treated fairly in the workplace without regard to your sex, and you should discuss your situation with a seasoned sexual harassment attorney. If you believe that you were subjected to verbal sexual harassment in your workplace, you should contact the Kokozian Law Firm. We will discuss your case with you compassionately but pursue your claims aggressively. We represent people throughout Los Angeles County and in other regions of California. Call us at 323.857.5900 or contact us via our online form.