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Sex and Gender Harassment at Work: What California Employees Should Know

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Are you being harassed at work due to your sex or gender? If so, you may be able to file a workplace harassment complaint. Not only does California law protect employees from workplace discrimination and retaliation, but also a variety of forms of harassment in the workplace However, it can be difficult to know what exactly your rights are when it comes to sex and gender harassment in the workplace.

This article will give you the facts on sex and gender harassment in California, and when it may be proper to contact an employment lawyer to file a workplace harassment complaint.

sex-and-gender-harassment-at-work-what-california-employees-should-know.png

Are you being harassed at work due to your sex or gender? If so, you may be able to file a workplace harassment complaint. Not only does California law protect employees from workplace discrimination and retaliation, but also a variety of forms of harassment in the workplace However, it can be difficult to know what exactly your rights are when it comes to sex and gender harassment in the workplace.

This article will give you the facts on sex and gender harassment in California, and when it may be proper to contact an employment lawyer to file a workplace harassment complaint.

What is Sex and Gender Harassment?

Before you can proceed with filing a workplace harassment complaint, it is important to differentiate between sex and gender harassment and sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment falls under the gender harassment umbrella of negative employer behaviors, and is the most commonly understood type of harassment. Sexual harassment generally happens when an employer demands sexual favors as a condition of employment, creating a hostile or offensive work environment that prohibits an employee from performing their job adequately.

Other types of sex and gender harassment in the workplace come in a variety of forms and can occur when your employer creates or knows that a hostile, offensive, abusive or intimidating work environment exists because of your sex and gender and they allow it to continue anyway. These negative employer behaviors can be anything from insults directed at you due to your gender, to cruel office pranks in an attempt to demean your sex.

California employees should know that sex and gender harassment that is protected under the law can be based upon either: gender identity (man, woman, transgender) or biological sex (male, female, transgender, intersex).

Signs You've Been Subjected to Sex and Gender Harassment at Work

Under California and Federal law, it is unlawful for your employer to subject you to workplace harassment because of your sex or gender. If your employer is knowingly creates or allows a hostile, offensive, abusive, or intimidating work environment based on your sex or gender, rest assured that California's employment laws and employment attorneys are on your side.

Here are some common signs you have suffered from sex and gender harassment at work:

● Your employer has demanded sexual favors as a condition of your employment
● You have been subjected to insulting or degrading employer behaviors due to your sex or gender
● You have been subjected to a hostile work environment due to your sex or gender
● You have been subjected to unwanted physical touching at work because of your sex or gender
● You have been subjected to inappropriate or unwanted sexual comments at work because of your sex or gender
● You have been subjected to hostile, degrading comments at work regarding your sex or gender
● You have been subjected to demeaning or intimidating office pranks due to your sex or gender
● You have been subjected to offensive or hostile documents, emails or other materials that are degrading to your sex or gender

Filing a Sex and Gender Harassment Complaint in California

If you believe you have been subjected to sex or gender harassment in the workplace, be sure to document all instances of the harassing behavior as soon as they occur; write down who was involved, witnesses, the specific behavior, and keep any documents such as memos or emails that you think may be important to your case. Then, bring this information as well as your employee handbook to your first appointment with an employment lawyer. From there, your attorney can help walk you through your employer's internal policies for filing complaints, as well as decide how to proceed with filing a workplace harassment complaint with either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The passionate employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz have handled dozens of cases involving sex and gender harassment and are here to fight for your rights. Call us for your free consultation today.

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