Palo Alto Sexual Harassment Lawyer
In California, employees are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace by state and federal laws. Suffering from sexual harassment at work can create a hostile environment in which employees do not feel safe. Sexual harassment comes in different forms, including unwanted sexual advances and harassment based on an individual’s sexual identity or because the individual identifies as transgender or another way that does not conform with stereotypical gender identities. The law protects against harassment by allowing employees to file claims against their employers when those employers engage in wrongful conduct. Employees may feel that they are not in a position to challenge their employers. However, learning about your rights and finding a strong legal advocate can ensure that you are empowered in your workplace and able to demand fair treatment.
To learn more about your rights as an employee in Palo Alto, California, contact the Costanzo Law Firm today. Our Palo Alto sexual harassment lawyers fight to protect the rights of California’s workers. Call 408-993-8493 to learn how we can help you.
Sexual Harassment in Palo Alto Workplaces
A variety of different behaviors may fall into the category of sexual harassment. Employers who engage in any of these behaviors or who permit a hostile work environment to exist can be held accountable for their actions. If the perpetrator of the sexual harassment is a supervisory employee for the corporation, including company officers, the CEO, or another powerful individual with the company, your employer will likely be held responsible for the actions of those individuals. In cases where your employer was aware of the harassment taking place, or should have been, that employer can be held accountable for the harassment unless they took serious efforts to end such harassment. If your employer failed to investigate complaints regarding sexual harassment, did not take prompt actions to prevent further harassment, did not adopt a policy defining and preventing sexual harassment, or otherwise engage in steps to protect workers, courts are more likely to find that employer at fault.
Hostile Work Environments and Harassment
A variety of behaviors contribute to the creation of a hostile work environment. Inappropriate comments, pornographic images, vulgar jokes, threats, intimidation, and verbal abuse predicated on an employee’s gender identity, sex, or other sexual characteristics all can contribute to a hostile environment. In many cases, the behavior must occur regularly in order for it to be considered a hostile work environment. However, in cases of extreme behavior, one incident could qualify as workplace harassment and a hostile environment. To learn more about whether you have a claim for sexual harassment, speak to a Palo Alto, California, employment law attorney today.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Employees may be subject to quid pro quo harassment at the hands of their employer if their employer or supervisor suggests that the employee should engage in sexual conduct in exchange for benefits in the workplace. For example, if an employee is offered a promotion that depends on his or her engaging and sexual conduct with the employer, this is an illegal form of quid pro quo harassment. Similarly, threats to fire an employee after that employee rejects sexual advances can be considered a form of quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Filing a Sexual Harassment Complaint in Palo Alto
If you are facing sexual harassment in the workplace, you should contact a Palo Alto, California, employment law attorney to discuss your situation and your best course of action. In many cases, the first step will be to notify your employer, perhaps by speaking to the human resources department. There may be cases where this is not relevant or where the company lacks the proper channels to go through to report such conduct. Your attorney can guide you through this process and ensure that you are taking all the appropriate steps.
If you are filing a claim against your employer, you will first have to contact the federal EEOC or the California DFEH, depending on whether you’re filing a federal or state claim. Eventually, you may take your case to court if necessary. To learn more about the process of filing a claim, speak to an experienced Palo Alto employment law attorney.
Fears of Retaliation and Your Rights
Your employer is prohibited by law from retaliating against you for complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace. California law recognizes the fact that employees cannot stand up for their rights if the consequences could be a loss of their career or livelihood. Speak to an attorney to learn more about how you are protected from retaliation at the hands of your employer.
Call the Costanzo Law Office Today to Stop Sexual Harassment in your Palo Alto Workplace
At the Costanzo Law Firm, we understand how difficult and emotionally challenging it can be to struggle with sexual harassment at your place of work. The law is designed to protect you from inappropriate and wrongful behavior at the hands of your employer. Call us today at 408-993-8493 to learn more about your legal options and how we can help.