California Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Experienced California Sexual Harassment Attorney Ready To Help You

Also Serving in Solana Beach and Representing Clients Across California, Including LA County, Palm Springs, Indio, Lancaster, San Diego, and More

Attorney John W. Dalton

Attorney John W. Dalton has been fighting for victims of sex and gender discrimination and harassment for over 25 years. John’s Solana Beach, California-based law practice has always focused on representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases. Our firm works to help victims like you get back on your feet after the trauma of sexual harassment and employment discrimination.

If you’ve been the victim of a hostile work environment, you need a California employment legal matters lawyer who isn’t afraid of going to trial. John is an experienced trial lawyer who has secured some of the largest verdicts in sexual harassment cases in the State of California.

Check out our article on the process of suing your employer over a hostile work environment.

A Record of Success

When you’re looking for a California employment legal matters lawyer, a track record of success matters. John Dalton’s record at trial speaks for itself. One case represented the largest sexual harassment award in the nation with a verdict of over $30,000,000 and over $8,000,000 awarded in attorney fees (Gober v. Ralphs Grocery Company). John has secured sexual harassment trial verdicts totaling tens of millions of dollars. Several of John’s cases have even been featured in the national news including, Primetime Live with Chris Wallace and NOW on PBS (Is Your Daughter Safe at Work?).

Navigating Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

Having worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, John W. Dalton knows that diplomacy and negotiation skills are just as important as being able to fight for you in court. As a top California sexual harassment lawyer, John brings his background with the CIA to his work with you. Whether it is strategizing how to handle quid pro quo aspects of a sexual harassment case or preparing to negotiate a settlement, John is a great partner to have in achieving your employment law goals.

Most important, John understands that sexual harassment is traumatizing and can have a very serious impact on your life. You DO NOT have to tolerate it.  Unwanted attention in the form of sexual harassment is all too common in American society and especially in the workplace. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 61% of men and 69% of women reported experiencing sexual harassment in a professional setting. Fortunately, California has some of the most progressive employment laws in the country and provides workers protection against sexual harassment.  If you believe you’ve been subjected to unlawful harassment based on your gender (female or male), please contact us immediately and let us know what is happening to you. Get a free consultation with our experienced California sexual harassment lawyer John W. Dalton and find out how we can help you.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

In general, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender that violates both state and federal laws. In many places, including California, “sex” in this context also includes a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

Unfortunately, despite how common it is, sexual harassment often goes unreported, with as little as 30% of victims speaking up about their harassment. There are a number of factors that contribute to this statistic, including embarrassment and blaming oneself.  Another factor is that knowing when behavior crosses the line isn’t always easy. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t be afraid, give us a call and let us know what is happening to you. Get a compassionate and experienced California sexual harassment attorney to fight on your side!

Types of Sexual Harassment at Work

In the workplace, there are two categories of sexual harassment: hostile work environment sexual harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment.

The most common type of sexual harassment comes in the form of a hostile work environment sexual harassment. A hostile work environment is a sexual harassment when

  • An employee experiences unwanted physical, visual or verbal conduct;
  • The conduct is gender related; and
  • The conduct is severe or pervasive in that it alters the employee’s working conditions.

A viable hostile work environment sex or gender harassment claim can be either severe or pervasive, but you don’t need both.  Severe incidents of gender-based harassment are usually in the form of inappropriate touching. It does not have to be violent, but can involve rubbing, caressing, brushing, and of course, grabbing or slapping the private areas of a person’s body.  Pervasiveness in relation to gender-based harassment is usually much more subtle. It is often verbal comments that are gender-based, and are claimed to be “flirting” or “teasing” type comments. The key to pervasiveness is that the misconduct needs to have occurred more than a couple of times, although it does not need to happen every day or every shift, or anything close to that often.

The second form of sexual harassment is called quid pro quo sexual harassment.  This is when some job benefit (i.e. promotion, raise, better accounts, better hours, just to not be fired, etc.) is conditioned on requests for sexual favors, usually from a manager or supervisor. Sometimes it is a straightforward and obvious request and sometimes it is more implied. For example, a supervisor may make a direct request for sex from an employee in return for a promotion or other job benefits. Similarly, a supervisor might request sex on the threat of firing the employee if he or she does not comply.  Other less direct examples would be a supervisor asking a subordinate out on a date, asking a subordinate to go out for drinks, or just to “get together.”  These sexual advances do not have to be stated by the manager or supervisor to be in exchange for something, it can be implied.

Check out our article on common examples of sexual harassment at work.

The important thing to remember is to trust your instincts.  If you think you are being sexually harassed, you probably are being victimized.  Please contact our California sexual harassment attorney and let us know what is happening so you can be informed of your rights and you can make a fully informed decision.

Tens of Millions of Dollars Recovered for Our Clients

$395,000.00 Confidential Settlement Doe v. Roe FEHA race discrimination/harassment case; in arbitration; settlement
$254,400.00 Millay v. DTM Enterprises et al. Judgment sex discrimination/harassment; Nevada County Superior Court
See More REsults

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Behavior rising to the level of sexual harassment can take many different forms. Both men and women can commit or experience sexual harassment, and it may occur between employees of the same rank or in different supervisory positions.

Examples of sexual harassment at work include:

  • Sexual assault and battery (i.e. touching, patting, rubbing, brushing, fondling, grabbing, or slapping the private areas of a person’s body);
  • Sexual comments directed at a particular person or in a group of people. This would be any sex-based comments, including talking about one’s sex life, asking about your sex life, making comments about the physical attributes of a person, or even what a person likes to do with his or her boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife;
  • Sex-based email, phone, or text messages;
  • Rude or sexist comments, even if the comments are not sexual in nature. This could be general gender-based comments about the female or male gender or comments about someone’s appearance;
  • Sexually suggestive comments about clothing or body parts;
  • Inappropriate touching, like unwanted shoulder massages, hugging, patting, or rubbing, even if it does not involve private areas of a person’s body.

Additionally, sexual harassment can be subtle, less obvious examples of behavior that could be sexual harassment include:

  • Staring or “mentally undressing” someone in the office (i.e. elevator eyes);
  • Sexual discussions in the workplace in a group or isolated setting; or
  • Making sexual jokes or gestures.

The key is whether the conduct is gender (or sex) related. While a single inappropriate comment may not constitute sexual harassment, a pattern of inappropriate comments is likely a viable claim.   Again, just contact us and let us know what is going on and at a minimum, we will educate you on your rights. We offer free consultations. Call our knowledgeable California sexual harassment lawyer John W. Dalton today!

Remedies for Sexual Harassment

Victims of sexual harassment may be able to recover a number of remedies depending on the severity of the harassment itself.  Sexual harassment can have a dramatic impact on the victim’s well-being.  There may be long-term psychological or emotional effects such as humiliation, anxiety, nervousness, embarrassment, sleeplessness, crying and sadness.  Often times the victim’s job is lost by being forced to quit, or being fired for complaining, although you do not need to quit your job to have a viable case.   In most cases, the remedy includes compensatory (money) damages for emotional distress, including pain and suffering. In the most egregious cases, punitive damages, which are designed to punish the employer or harasser can be awarded. If your case is won, attorney fees and court costs can be awarded by the Court against the employer and harasser that are separate and apart from an award to you.

Other remedies may be possible, including having your job reinstated, including back pay, if you have lost it based on illegal conduct by the employer, or possibly having retaliatory conduct reversed if it is in the form of lost hours, or a transfer to another location.

Is My Employer Liable for Sexual Harassment?

There are different legal standards depending on the position of the harasser.  If the harasser is a co-worker, then for employer to be liable it will need to be proven the employer knew or should have known about the harassing conduct but failed to take any corrective action.  The knowledge for the employer needs to be at the manager or supervisor level.

If the harasser is a supervisor or manager (it does not have to be your direct supervisor or manager), then there is strict liability to the company.  This means that for the employer to be liable for the harassment it just has to be proven the harassment occurred and the victim was damaged by the harassment.  However, every case is different and it is important you contact us and let us know what is happening to you.

Should I Hire a California Sexual Harassment Attorney?

If you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment, you should contact us. As noted above, sexual harassment cases can be subtle, and whether harassment has occurred isn’t always clear. It is best to err on the side of caution and contact us to eliminate any uncertainty you may have and get you the resolution you need if you have a viable case.

Additionally, we can help you protect your rights (and your job) as an employee. Many people do not report harassment because they are afraid they may be subjected to retaliation, up to and including, losing their job. However, California law protects against retaliation by an employer. We will help you understand your rights and fight back against your employer if necessary.

Additional Resources for Workplace Harassment in California

For more resources, check out our legal blog.

Have You Been Sexually Harassed? Contact A Proven Solana Beach Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Solana Beach sexual harassment attorney John Dalton is here to listen to you and find out what is happening.  He is highly experienced and serves all of California. All inquiries are completely confidential and we believe a high level of trust between lawyer and client is crucial. That’s why you’ll always speak to John directly if you have questions when you call our office. Do not hesitate to contact the John W. Dalton Law Offices today for a free consultation and let us know what is happening to you. We also handle other types of employment legal matters cases, including unsettled overtime, wrongful discharge, and work discrimination.

“I highly respect Bill and his dedication and integrrity. You will not be disappointed.” John Dalton went to work for me and delivered great results. I wasn’t sure what to do and when I found John, he explained everything nicely and he was able to get me the settlement I truly deserved. He was easy to work with and I always felt like I was kept in the loop - it was really fantastic service all around. - Steve K.