California Employment Counsel, APC
Strong Advocates For California Workers
Start Your Free Consultation

Costa Mesa Employment Law Blog

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment In California

Employees in California are protected against sexual harassment in the workplace by the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Federal law also protects people against sexual harassment in the workplace. It is important that people recognize different types of sexual harassment, as it is important to report incidents in a timely manner. Inappropriate touching and comments are the types of harassment that easily come to mind, but it is also sexual harassment for a supervisor or other authority figure at work to offer something in exchange for some type of sexual act. Examples may include a job offer, promotion, or raise in exchange for sex. If you did not receive a job, promotion, or raise because you refused to engage in the quid pro quo offer, you may have a case for sexual harassment.

Municipal employees aren't immune from sexual harassment

Almost every kid looks up to the heroes of the fire department and police, but these men are not perfect. The city of San Francisco recently settled a case of sexual harassment charges against a commander in the fire department who was demoted before resigning his position.

Sources report that the commander used his position to coerce the complainant into a sexual relationship. Unfortunately, she is far from the only person who has had to deal with such a situation on the job.

Workplace Sexual Harassment and Social Media

Sexual harassment via the internet is widespread and well-known. While most of the attention seems to be focused on teens and bullying, workplace sexual harassment often extends to the cyberworld as well. And in fact, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addressed this issue in its June 2016 report on workplace harassment. The EEOC encourages employers to include social media anti-harassment policies when establishing and drafting workplace policy guidelines.

Shielding Sexual Harrassers Will No Longer Be Tolerated

Oftentimes, victims of sexual harassment are hesitant to come forward because they fear retaliation. They also believe that the alleged perpetrator will escape punishment. While times are changing, this outlook isn't completely off-base. Recent sexual harassment news regarding Fox News and the University of California demonstrate that we still have work to do in this area.

Migrant workers face high rates of sexual harassment

The Human Rights Watch recently published a paper identifying issues with sexual harassment and violence in the agriculture industry. These issues have long existed but often go unacknowledged.

It is estimated that about 75 percent of all farmworkers in the U.S. are foreign-born, with the vast majority from Mexico. Many of these workers are unauthorized immigrants, while many more are here on the H-2A temporary visa. The H-2A visa is tied to the employer, not the worker; thus migrant workers are almost entirely dependent on their employers. This makes farmworkers extremely vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. 

What constitutes retaliation after a sexual harassment charge?

Many people who make a complaint to their employer worry about retaliation by that employer. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibits retaliation against employees who are asserting their rights to be in a safe workplace, free from discrimination.

Employers are allowed to discipline or terminate employees if the motivation is non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory. The facts of each individual case are unique and should be investigated to determine if retaliation occurred. Learn to recognize what could possibly constitute retaliation under the EEOC's rules: 

  • An employee reprimand or a low performance evaluation
  • A transfer to a less desirable position
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Threats of making a report to the authorities
  • Increased scrutiny at work
  • Changing a work schedule to make it more difficult for the employee to handle other responsibilities
  • Spreading rumors
  • Treating a family member negatively 

Ways to overcome fear of reporting sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a common problem in the workplace. Victims often blame themselves or have concerns about retaliation if they report the abuse. Some minority groups are even more vulnerable to harassment, which makes reporting the incident even more difficult. You can overcome the barriers to reporting sexual harassment to work in a safe place, free of gender bias and abuse. 

One key issue in reporting sexual harassment is that the victim knows the abuser. A victim can find it difficult to report what happened in such a case. To minimize this issue, write down what occurred. Keep a log of incidents if necessary. Note date and time, any witnesses to the incident and how you responded. This helps you get your thoughts in order, and if you need to bring forth a claim, you have documentation. 

Types of sexual harassment men face in the workplace

While it's more common for women to experience sexual harassment on the job, they are not the only victims. Men are also subject to harassment while working. 

Sexual harassment can take many forms, physical, verbal and emotional. Although there is little specific research about how sexual harassment affects men, it can damage productivity and morale in the workplace.

How sexual harassment can affect your health

One of the challenges you may face in Costa Mesa at the workplace is sexual harassment. No matter what your job title or duties are, being exposed to sexually predatory behavior can make it harder for you to perform your job comfortably. The effects of working in a hostile environment where sexual harassment is allowed to occur can create complications with your overall well-being. Learn how sexual harassment can affect your life so you know when to seek additional help.

Emotional well-being

Contact Us For A Free Case Evaluation

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy