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How Do You Know if You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Harassment?

Southern California Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be experienced in many forms. In general, it is any type of unwelcome sexual conduct that is threatening, hostile, intimidating, or offensive and which makes your work environment unpleasant.

Any type of conduct on the part of a supervisor, manager, or co-worker that is sexual in nature which makes you uncomfortable may potentially become a case of sexual harassment. If the behavior occurs once or at random, it may not become an issue. If the behavior continues, is persistent or pervasive, then you may want to seek the legal advice and guidance of a Southern California sexual harassment attorney at our firm.

Two Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, sexual harassment may be categorized into two types. One type is committed by someone who has the authority to make or influence employment actions such as firing, laying off, demoting, or denying a promotion. This type of unlawful sexual harassment is usually committed against the victim on the basis of "quid pro quo," meaning "this for that" in which the victim must cooperate with a supervisor in some form of sexual conduct or risk some type of negative action at work. This type of sexual harassment generally includes unwanted sexual advances.

The second type of unlawful sexual harassment is generally referred to as a hostile work environment where the unwelcome sexual conduct is generated by any number of personnel, including supervisors, co-workers, customers, vendors, or anyone else that the victim comes in contact with in the workplace. Even behavior which is not sexual but directed against the victim based on his or her gender can be a form of workplace sexual harassment. This is known as gender discrimination and is illegal in California.

Sexual Harassment Behaviors

You will know that you have been sexually harassed if you have been subjected to any of the following behaviors:

  • Being offered employment benefits or protection from adverse actions if you cooperate with sexual favors
  • Being subjected to slurs or offensive comments based on your gender
  • Being subjected to sexually suggestive pictures, images, displays, or other material at work
  • Being subjected to unwelcome and inappropriate physical touching
  • Being subjected to comments on your physical attributes
  • Being subjected to sexual jokes
  • Being subjected to crude and offensive language
  • Being subjected to explicit discussions of sexual activity
  • Being pressured either subtly or overtly for sexual favors
  • Stalking
  • Obscene or lurid phone calls

If you have been the victim of the above behaviors in the workplace, talk to a Southern California sexual harassment lawyer at Spray, Gould & Bowers LLP about your particular situation to get competent and experienced legal guidance.

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