San Diego Sexual Harassment Lawyer
When your source of livelihood is threatened because of sexual harassment at work, you need an experienced legal team that understands the law, and will handle your case with the required passion and sensitivity. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by both federal and state laws. Notwithstanding the protections of the law, sexual harassment is still prevalent in different work settings. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can result in a hostile work environment for the victim. Sometimes, victims feel powerless to take action or they do not even know where to begin. At Coyle Browne Law, our experienced San Diego sexual harassment lawyers are passionate about protecting victims of sexual harassment, no matter in what work setting it occurs.
The San Diego employment lawyers at Coyle Browne Law, PLC are dedicated to representing employees and individuals who have been discriminated against, harassed, or retaliated against because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, or other protected characteristic. We aggressively and honestly represent our clients, and have established ourselves in the list of Top 10, Top 50, and Top 100 settlements in the U.S. and California.
At Coyle Browne Law, our focus is on you–the employee or victim of sexual harassment. We do not represent employers, landlords, property owners, or corporations. Although our founding and senior partners have diverse experience that includes representing employers and insurance companies, we believe that our collective experience and our balanced approach to each of our cases is what sets us apart from other law firms.
We pride ourselves on our honesty and aggressive advocacy for our clients. Every member of the Coyle Browne Law team works together to ensure that our clients’ interests remain top priority at all times. Our discrimination attorneys leave the lines of communication open so that our clients feel like they are being listened to and their objectives are considered in our case strategy.
We are passionate about obtaining justice for those who have been wronged, which is why consultations with our employment team are free. If we represent you in your case, we do not charge up-front fees or costs. You only pay if we win. If we cannot help you, we do our best to provide you with valuable resources that may be useful in your situation. We believe in fast and honest feedback and will not take advantage of your vulnerability.
When you experience harassment at work, you may be confused about what action to take. You may have questions about what type of conduct legally qualifies as sexual harassment and whether what you have experienced meets the legal definition. You may also be reluctant to take action because of the fear of retaliation, termination, or other adverse work actions. There are many things to consider when faced with unwanted sexual misconduct, and a sexual harassment lawyer can help give you clarity about your legal position and your legal options.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace or in any other environment, you should speak with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer who can assess the facts of your case and advise you accordingly.
Sexual assault and battery is a criminal offense under California Penal Code. Sexual assault /battery can be defined as the unwanted touching of another person’s intimate parts. The Penal Code defines intimate parts as the victim’s “sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.” And, touching is “any physical contact with another person, whether accomplished directly, through the clothing of the person committing the offense, or through the clothing of the victim.”
California workers are protected from sexual assaults under federal and state law. Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protect workers from sexual harassment in the workplace. FEHA prohibits against discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on statutorily protected characteristics including sex. The broad purpose of FEHA is to protect an employee’s right to seek, obtain, and hold employment without experiencing discrimination on account of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap, medical condition, marital status, age, or sex. FEHA applies to any person or business employing five or more persons.
FEHA defines “sex” as including, but not limited to the following:
The sexual discrimination lawyers with Coyle Browne, PLC will zealously fight on your behalf to ensure you receive justice for any harassment at work.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, solicitations, sexual requests, demands for sexual compliance, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or offensive work environment. What you may consider offensive may not meet the legal definition of sexual harassment, which is why it is important to speak with a sexual harassment lawyer to get clarity in your case.
Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment involves unwanted sexual advances or unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, where the terms of employment, job benefits, or favorable working conditions are made contingent, by words or conduct, on the victim’s acceptance of the alleged harasser’s sexual advances or conduct. The harassment must have caused the victim harm and the alleged harasser’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the victim’s harm.
Hostile work environment harassment involves harassing conduct that creates a work environment that is hostile, intimidating, offensive, oppressive, or abusive. The conduct must be such that a reasonable person in the victim’s circumstances would have considered the work environment to be hostile, intimidating, offensive, oppressive, or abusive. To sustain a hostile work environment claim, the defendant engaged in the conduct or their supervisor must have known or should have known of the conduct and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. The victim must have been harmed, and the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing the victim’s harm.
For both quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment, the conduct must be severe or pervasive. This means that generally, except in limited circumstances such as a sexual assault, a one-off incident may not be enough to sustain a claim for sexual harassment. Conduct which is isolated, sporadic, or trivial is not enough.
To determine whether a conduct is pervasive or severe, the following factors are considered:
The victim does not have to prove that their productivity declined because of the harassing conduct. What is important is that they can prove that a reasonable person subjected to the same conduct they suffered would also find that the conduct changed their working conditions such that it was more difficult for them to do their job.
Offensive behavior that falls under unlawful sexual conduct is not limited to physical contact. And, sexual harassment does not necessarily involve sexual conduct. The following is a non-exhaustive list of unlawful conduct that can be actionable sexual harassment:
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you may face retaliation when you decide to take action against the defendant. Under the law, employers are prohibited from taking retaliatory actions in response to a complaint for sexual harassment. To succeed on a retaliation claim, the victim must prove:
Under the law, protected activity or conduct can take many forms including filing a complaint, testifying, or assisting in any investigation into the violation of the law. In essence, the employee must have engaged in protected activity, the employer subjected the employee to adverse employment action, and the employee can establish a causal link between the protected activity and adverse action. Our San Diego retaliation attorneys will help you with this process and fight on your behalf.
An employee can be successful in a retaliation claim even without proving their harassment claim. What is required is that the employee opposes conduct that they reasonably and in good faith believe to be harassment, and suffers harm for it.
Employers have a duty to ensure that their workplace is free from sexual harassment. To achieve that objective, employers are required to implement certain statutory requirements including:
Sexual harassment in the workplace can result in emotional damage that affects the victim’s entire life outside of the workplace. The emotional stress may affect their relationship with their spouse, children, or other members of their family. They may suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress related to their experience. The stress may also lead to physical health complications such as weight gain and hypertension. In such cases, damages would include the cost of therapy and other medical expenses.
If the victim suffered adverse employment action such as withholding of benefits, demotion, or termination, they may also be entitled to damages for the value of the wages and benefits lost as a result of the employer’s action.
In addition to compensatory damages for actual damages suffered, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages if the employer’s actions can be characterized as malicious or reckless.
If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you deserve justice. Coyle Browne Law can help you get justice. To speak with one of our San Diego sexual harassment lawyers, call us today at 800-421-2594 or email email@example.com to schedule your free consultation.
Free consultation by a lawyer. If we can take your case, there are no up front costs or fees.
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