Employees are entitled to a secure work environment free from sexual harassment. Although rude, suggestive or inappropriate comments may be unwelcome, they do not automatically constitute sexual harassment. Some key features to consider include:
- Whether the comments or actions have created a hostile work environment. This may include a manager telling dirty jokes, commenting on clothing, making lewd comments or doing something similar that creates an environment that prevents an employee from doing their job.
- Whether continued employment is contingent on the acceptance or rejection of sexual advances. For example, if a supervisor offers a promotion in exchange for sexual activity or threatens termination if an employee fails to comply.
- Whether an employer retaliates against an employee who complains about sexual advances or sexually charged comments. Retaliation may come in the form of wrongful termination, demotion or similar actions. If an employer retaliates against an employee who corroborates a colleague’s claim of harassment, the whistle blower may have a viable claim as well.
Employers have a duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Once a complaint of sexual harassment is made, an employer must undertake all reasonable steps to prevent it. As experienced labor attorneys, we can represent you in state and U.S. District Court. California employment laws prohibit female and male sexual harassment. Bowman & Associates represents employees in sexual harassment lawsuits as well as wrongful termination, wage disputes and in other cases involving workplace disputes.