Pasadena Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable and does not belong in the workplace. However, it remains a pervasive issue in work environments in Pasadena and throughout the United States. Every employee is entitled to a safe and discrimination-free work environment, so if you have experienced harassment at your place of work, contacting trustworthy Pasadena sexual harassment attorneys can help you put a stop to these behaviors and ensure that the responsible party is held accountable.

Pasadena Sexual Harassment Attorneys

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted or unwelcomed sexual remarks or physical advances toward another person. This can include unwanted jokes that are sexual in nature, specific requests for sexual favors, displaying or sending sexually suggestive pictures, or any other form of verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and interferes with another person’s ability to reasonably work, thus creating a hostile and often intimidating environment.

Sexual harassment conducted in any form is strictly prohibited by both California state and federal laws per Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the state level, sexual harassment is enforced by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces employment discrimination laws at the federal level.

What Are the Different Types of Sexual Harassment?

Even though sexual harassment can manifest itself in many different forms, there are two primary types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

  • Quid Pro Quo: Originating from the Latin term “this for that,” this type of sexual harassment occurs when an individual’s employment status, pay, benefits, title, or opportunity for advancement is based on their submission to unwelcomed sexual advances or favors by their employer or supervisor.
  • Hostile Work Environment: This form of sexual harassment occurs when any unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature directly interferes with a person’s ability to reasonably perform their job duties or creates a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment.

Incidents of hostile work environments can occur from just one severe instance of inappropriate conduct, as well as persistent and pervasive incidents that directly affect their ability to reasonably perform their job. This type of sexual harassment does not have to strictly be committed by an employee in a superior position of power, as it can even be committed by a client or vendor.

Both quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment are unacceptable and illegal. Each form of sexual harassment should be taken extremely seriously. When it comes to harassment in the workplace, ultimately, employers have a responsibility to address it.

This can be done effectively by fostering a company culture based on respect while also providing adequate training to employees, implementing comprehensive anti-harassment policies, and establishing a clear reporting and response mechanism whenever a case of harassment is witnessed.

By prioritizing prevention and response efforts, employers can create safe workplaces where harassment is not tolerated, and all employees feel empowered to speak out against any potential misconduct.

If you have experienced any form of sexual harassment in your place of work, it’s critical that you immediately report the offense to your employer and then consult with a reputable and trusted employment lawyer who has direct experience handling similar sexual harassment cases.

This can help ensure that any forms of harassment and misconduct are put to a stop as soon as possible and that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions. This way, nobody else has to endure this kind of treatment from them.

What Is Employer Retaliation?

Employer retaliation can take many different forms. Both federal and California state laws have granted all employees certain rights, which include the right to a safe workplace free of discrimination and harassment.

Employees have also been granted the right to engage in certain protection actions, such as testifying as a witness in an open court case involving an employer, filing a claim of sexual harassment or discrimination for internal review, or filing a workers’ compensation claim, without the fear of facing punishment from their employers.

Retaliation is generally defined as when an employer fails to acknowledge the employee’s basic rights to engage in such actions and takes adverse action against the employee as a result.

Forms of Retaliation

Here are some of the common forms of retaliation committed by employers:

  • Terminating an employee
  • Reducing pay or demoting an employee
  • Limiting an employee’s hours
  • Changing or altering the employee’s workstation without good reason, such as moving the employee to a smaller office or isolated workstation, in an attempt to frustrate or punish the employee.
  • Conducting negative performance reviews of the employee following the protected action despite them previously having consistently positive performance reviews.

The above list only highlights a few of the more common acts of retaliation, as it can take many forms. If you have been victimized or retaliated against by your employer in response to your sexual harassment claim, it’s essential that you contact a trusted sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible. They can walk you through your options and build a strong harassment case to secure fair compensation for the damages you sustained.

How Can I File a Sexual Harassment Claim?

Filing an official sexual harassment claim is fairly straightforward; however, it is always recommended to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to ensure that all documentation is accurate and in compliance with state laws.

The first step in the pursuing a sexual harassment claim is to file a claim directly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of the United States, since they are responsible for fielding official reports of sexual harassment and discrimination and overseeing the employment standards throughout the US. At that point, the EEOC will review your claim and determine whether or not you have legitimate grounds for legal action.

If your harassment claim is approved, then you will receive a Notice of Right to Sue, which will allow you and your employment lawyer to initiate legal action against your employer or the responsible party.

What Should My Employer Do for Me if I Have Experienced Sexual Harassment at Work?

If you have experienced sexual harassment in your work environment, it is always recommended that you first attempt to resolve the issue by adhering to the company’s internal policy regarding sexual harassment prior to exercising legal action. The majority of companies have strict anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies in place that require them to investigate any sexual harassment claims filed by their employees.

Typically, when an employer learns of sexual harassment occurring in their workplace but does nothing in an attempt to stop the issue, and it continues to take place, the employee would have grounds to pursue legal action against their harasser, as well as their employer.

If you have experienced sexual harassment at your place of work and reported the harassment to your employer, who has not taken any appropriate response, it’s time to consult with an experienced Pasadena, California, sexual harassment attorney.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Sexual Harassment in California Workplaces?

Most California employees know that sexual harassment is illegal, including any unwelcome or unwanted sexual conduct. What they may not know is who can be held liable for this unlawful behavior.

In Pasadena, California workplaces, multiple parties may ultimately be held liable for instances of sexual harassment, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. This can include the following:

  • Company owners
  • Supervisors or managers
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Vendors

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Harassment in California?

According to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims in California is three years from the date on which the offense occurred. This includes any harassment, discrimination, or retaliation claims committed by a California employer toward an employee. FEHA is the state agency that is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination and harassment laws in California.

If the harassment claim is not filed by the victim within the three-year statute of limitations, then it will likely be waived by the state courts; however, there are a few specific circumstances where the statute of limitations may be longer than the typical three-year period.

One example of an exception is if the alleged harassment also violates federal anti-discrimination laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In this case, the victim may have extended time to file an official claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces employment discrimination laws at the federal level.


Q: What Are Three Potential Remedies for Targets of Harassment?

A: Three of the potential remedies for targets of harassment are back pay, front pay, and additional injunctive relief. Back pay allows for the victim to receive any pay or bonuses that were withheld as a result of the harassment. Front pay is applied in the same way but toward potential future pay.

Additional injunctive relief refers to court action that could force the employer to reinstate or promote the employee. It may also prohibit certain actions, preventing the employer from using the same practices in the future.

Q: What Is the Burden of Proof for a Hostile Work Environment Claim?

A: Proving a hostile work environment claim can be difficult, but in general, the employees can meet their burden of proof by providing adequate testimony that the actions or circumstances caused them stress that prevented them from reasonably being able to perform their work duties.

However, to prove a hostile work environment claim, it’s recommended that the employee documents all evidence, including any emails, messages, or recordings that show they reported the work environment and the employer failed to take corrective action.

Q: What Are the Four Steps a Person Should Take When Reporting a Case of Harassment?

A: The four steps that a person should take when reporting a case of harassment are:

  • Document or log every instance of harassment that they experience to maintain a written record and strengthen their case
  • Inform their employer to report the offenses and protect themselves from retaliation
  • Consult with an employment lawyer to discuss their options
  • File an official claim with either the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Q: Are Harassment Cases Hard to Prove?

A: Yes, harassment cases can be particularly difficult to prove. This is because there is often little direct evidence available to support the victim’s claim since most instances of sexual harassment are coercive and not conducted openly. Harassers will often act covertly to avoid detection; however, circumstantial evidence can be convincing in some cases.

Q: Can You Sue for Harassment in California?

A: Yes, you can sue for harassment in California. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, and employers who knowingly allow it to continue, open themselves up to civil claims. Whether you’ve experienced quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment, you can sue your employer and seek compensation for your damages. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a claim. If they do so, you can file an additional claim for retaliation.

Finding the Right Law Firm for Your Sexual Harassment Claim

Sexual harassment in all forms is completely unacceptable, and nobody should have to endure it, especially in their place of work. Despite the stringent laws in place by state and federal governing bodies intended to prevent and combat harassment, there are still cases when employers fail to adequately protect their employees from these acts.

Every employee is entitled to a safe work environment free of harassment and discrimination. If you have ever experienced harassment at your place of work, contacting an experienced sexual harassment attorney with a proven track record of success can help you put a stop to these behaviors and ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.

At California Employment Counsel, APC, we are here to help you navigate the unique complexities of your individual case. We understand that each sexual harassment case and related circumstances are unique and deserve a personalized and compassionate approach.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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