Sex-based conduct and unwanted sexual advances have no place in the workplace (or anywhere else). If you have been subjected to this type of behavior, you can file a sexual harassment lawsuit or complaint to hold your harasser accountable. Remember that you don’t have to make your claim alone. Immediately speaking to an attorney about your harassment case can be the best course for obtaining legal relief from an employer or harasser.

John Dalton is a top Temecula sexual harassment attorney who can handle your needs. Backed by decades of experience, large verdicts and a strong passion for protecting employees, the Law Office of John Dalton can get the best out of any sexual harassment case or employment dispute. Contact our office today for help. 

Have You Been Subjected to Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment cases vary in many ways, and state and federal laws have multiple definitions for what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace. Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), sexual harassment is unwanted, sex-based conduct in one of the following forms:

  • Quid pro quo harassment. This occurs when an employer or supervisor requires you to accept unwanted sexual advances or other sex-based discrimination in exchange for benefits at work. 
  • Hostile work environment harassment. This occurs when a supervisor’s, co-worker’s, customer’s, vendor’s, client’s, or contractor’s unwelcome, sex-based behavior is so serious or prevalent that a reasonable person would call your workplace a hostile environment

Within these definitions, you can see there are many ways that sexual harassment can spring up in a workplace and disrupt your sense of safety and ability to do your job. 

Examples can help when approaching workplace sexual harassment. If you have noticed or experienced any of the following in your workplace, you might have a right to complain about: 

  • Touching without permission;
  • Sex-based conversations;
  • Unwanted romantic requests/asking for dates; 
  • Offensive comments about pregnancy and related conditions;
  • Staring;
  • Invasions of personal space;
  • Displays of graphic, sex-based materials;
  • Exclusion of you or others based on sex;
  • Jokes about sex or gender;
  • Requests for personal information;
  • Statements about the harasser’s own private life or what the harasser likes in a romantic partner;
  • The use of slurs;
  • Insulting or generalizing comments about sex or gender;
  • Graphic gestures;
  • Exposure of intimate body parts; or
  • Comments about physical appearance.

Once you recognize any of the above behaviors (or other sex-based misconduct), you should call us so we can properly organize your claim. 

Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

You deserve compensation or other legal relief when you have endured sexual harassment at work. The road to obtaining relief can be lengthy and contains several steps. This is why consulting a sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible can be vital to your case. 

Telling a Harasser to Stop

The first step to building a sexual harassment claim is to establish that the harassment is unwanted. You might have to do this by telling your harasser to stop or reporting the harassing behavior to a trusted supervisor or human resources. To protect your rights and well-being, we can help you fashion the appropriate response.  If possible, call us even before this first step.

Collecting Evidence of Harassment

Another step you want to take as soon as possible is to gather evidence of the harassment. You might have to collect and save the following to prove your case: 

  • Witness information,
  • Personnel records,
  • Notes with details about each instance of harassment,
  • Correspondence, 
  • Wage records,
  • Employer policies,
  • Copies of complaints and their resolutions,
  • Pictures, and
  • Medical records.

Again, if possible, call us even before you begin this collection process so we can guide you. 

Filing an Internal Complaint at Work

If the harassment is by a non-supervisor, you might need to file a harassment complaint with your employer before taking your complaint to court or a government agency. This is because harassment complaints that don’t involve a supervisor and don’t end in discipline against the victim are not the employer’s responsibility unless the victim can prove:

  • They reasonably took advantage of corrective or preventive opportunities the employer provided for harassment, and 
  • Their employer unreasonably failed to correct or prevent the harassment. 

If your employer does not have a policy for submitting harassment complaints or the nature of the harassment you experienced makes filing a complaint incredibly difficult, you might be able to bypass this step. However, if possible, you should speak with us before filing an internal complaint. 

Filing a Lawsuit or Administrative Complaint

Many harassment victims can settle their issues with their employers after filing an internal claim, but some will need legal action to obtain the damages they deserve. Moreover, before filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, you must do at least one of the following:

  • File a federal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and obtain a right to sue letter; or
  • File a state complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD, formerly known as the Department of Fair Housing and Employment) and obtain a right to sue letter. 

Generally, you have 180 days to file an EEOC complaint and 3 years to file a CRD complaint.  Again, we strongly urge any potential victim to contact us before filing a complaint with either the CRD or EEOC because it can be tricky.

Remedies for Sexual Harassment

So, what relief are you fighting for when you initiate a sexual harassment claim? Under state and federal laws, you might be entitled to the following in a sexual harassment case:

  • Payment for related financial losses,
  • Increased work benefits,
  • Legal costs,
  • Job or benefit reinstatement,
  • Compensation for emotional harm,
  • Policy changes at work, and 
  • Punitive damages.

Your ability to recoup costs and obtain relief can depend on many factors, including, but not limited to, the evidence and facts involved. John Dalton has extensive experience in building the best cases for his clients. Please call us.

The Law Office of John Dalton Can Protect You

At the Law Office of John Dalton, our sexual harassment lawyer in Temecula, CA, is compassionate, highly experienced, and successful. John has over 27 years of experience and has won some of the largest sex harassment verdicts in the state and nation. If you have suffered mistreatment at work, contact us right away. You can reach us online or give us a call.