When you go to work, you should expect to feel comfortable in the workplace. Many offices are accommodating to all employees, but some are not as kind. There’s no excuse for sexual harassment in the Riverside, CA workplace, and anyone who is the victim of the crime is entitled to damages.
If you’ve experienced sexual harassment or suffered wrongful termination for speaking out about it, you need an attorney in your corner. Clark Employment Law, APC, is your Riverside sexual harassment lawyer with free consultation who can help you bring a claim against an employer and get the restitution you deserve.
Clark Employment Law, APC, is celebrating ten years of fighting for employees’ rights in California. Our lead attorney and founder, Tyler F. Clark, has made it his mission to fight against any harassment that occurs in the workplace. Mr. Clark has numerous awards to his name, including praise from Super Lawyers, the American Society of Legal Advocates, and America’s Top 100 Attorneys.
Sexual harassment comes in many varieties. In general, sexual harassment encompasses any sexual act or comment that is inappropriate in the workplace.
Anyone can commit sexual harassment in the workplace with an inappropriate touch or comment. Sexual harassment can happen between any employees, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or position in the company.
Your employer can not retaliate against you for speaking up about any sexual harassment. This retaliation can come in the form of a demotion, loss of work or responsibilities, or firing.
When discussing law, there’s a difference between a civil and criminal case. Civil cases are ones you bring against another party or parties, while a criminal case is one the state brings against a party or parties. You may be involved in both a criminal and civil case against your employer or may choose to only file a claim in civil court.
Civil cases may net you a few benefits if you win. You can receive money for emotional distress, be rehired at the company if it retaliated against you, receive back pay, or force a policy change from your employer. You can speak with a lawyer to determine what types of damages you should ask for when litigating the case.
Sexual harassment also carries the risk of criminal charges against your employer. California awards both misdemeanors and felonies to those convicted of sexual harassment. A judge may punish a defendant with a fine of $2,000 and up to six months in county jail. Felonies carry a fine of $2,000 and at least a year in jail.
A judge may decide to increase the penalties in a sexual harassment case when it happens in the workplace.
Sexual harassment comes in many forms; here are a few of the more common ways it manifests.
There’s nothing wrong with a coworker asking another out on a date or to dinner, but flirtatious behavior can quickly cross the line into harassment. If someone says no to a sexual advance, that should be the end of the conversation. Continuing to pursue the person crosses the line into an unwanted sexual advance.
Every person should remember that “no” means “no” and to back off when someone turns down a romantic or sexual advance.
Hostile work environments come in many forms. You may see it as people making sexual jokes in a common area that make other employees uncomfortable. It could also manifest as sexual comments or sexual material in plain view of other employees.
Any time someone does something that makes their coworkers or employees uncomfortable, it crosses the line into a hostile work environment. Every employee has the right to work in an area where they feel safe and not discriminated against.
Quid pro quo refers broadly to favors, though in this context, the favors are sexual. A boss may hold a promotion over a subordinate’s head, with the only way for the employee to gain the promotion is to participate in a sexual act. A boss may use this as a way to deny someone a chance to work on a project or log extra hours at the office.
You cannot harass a coworker for their gender identity or sexual orientation. You also may not use any real or perceived ideas about someone’s sexual preferences or gender to influence your decision on hiring, firing, or promoting.
Under California law, all personnel decisions need to be made by merit, not because of identity. An employer showing a preference for certain people and scorn for others because of gender or sexual orientation is committing sexual harassment.
While it may seem tempting to handle the case yourself, you should hire a lawyer when filing a claim against an employer or colleague for sexual harassment. You are under no legal obligation to hire a Riverside sexual harassment lawyer, but you may find yourself struggling to win the case without one.
Attorneys know the law inside and out and can use that knowledge to their advantage in the courtroom. They will be able to advocate for you in ways you wouldn’t because you aren’t as familiar with the minutiae of the law.
Lawyers will also help you get as much money as possible from the situation. While you may think you know exactly how much you can get from the case, a lawyer will be able to show you any extra avenues to explore with litigation.
Sexual harassment can also be difficult to prove in court. If you are bringing a claim against a boss, they may have the company’s backing and a team of lawyers. An experienced Riverside sexual harassment lawyer will help by gathering evidence and arguing for you at the trial if it comes to that. Most people cannot fight against a company on their own.
Self-representing also carries with it the risk that you are too close to the situation. You will probably have plenty of emotions swirling inside you from the crime. You may be angry with everybody involved, or talking about sexual harassment against you may bring up some bad memories that negatively impact your mental health.
Lawyers come at cases from entirely unemotional places. This does not mean they are not empathetic or care about the cases they try, but they are not beholden to the same raw emotion about the crime that you are.
An experienced Riverside sexual harassment lawyer can give you unbiased advice. Even if you know the perpetrator committed the crime, an attorney can give you a realistic probability of how likely a successful trial is.
A: The Anti-Harassment Policy in California is a catch-all that prohibits any kind of harassment in the workplace and gives guidelines on the process of reporting infractions. The law also prohibits retaliation against employees. This policy applies to any private business but is in line with rules for government conduct as well.
A: Yes. California allows employees to sue coworkers or employers for harassment. If you choose to file a claim against someone for sexual harassment, the burden of proof is on you to showcase the wrongdoing by the other party. Hiring a lawyer can help you argue the case in front of a judge or jury and negotiate with the lawyers on the other side of the aisle.
A: Yes. Sexual harassment is a criminal charge in California. You can choose to file both a criminal and civil charge against someone for sexual harassment. Criminal charges come with the risk of fines and jail time, while civil cases can lead to payouts to you for damages. The standard of proof is higher in a criminal case than a civil case, as you need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case.
A: Harassment comes in many forms in California. In general, any unwanted sexual act or comment is sexual harassment, though the term is broad. This behavior could be as simple as an unwanted touch on the shoulder or a rude comment. It could also be something more severe, like threatening retaliation, if an employee does not fulfill a sexual act.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a severe crime but is often tricky to effectively prove. You need a Riverside sexual harassment lawyer with a free consultation on your side to help demonstrate your case and get you the restitution you deserve.
Clark Employment Law, APC, is ready to assist you with any discrimination or harassment needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and to get the ball rolling on your legal representation. Every second counts in your sexual harassment case.