Pasadena Sexual Harassment Lawyer

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Pasadena Sexual Harassment Attorney

Sexual harassment can happen in any workplace. These degrading acts can create hostile work environments where workers are constantly uncomfortable around certain individuals or in the workplace in general. If you experienced sexual harassment in Pasadena, California, you can rely on the services of a Pasadena sexual harassment lawyer to hold the at-fault party accountable. Our lawyers have helped many clients win compensation for their pain, suffering, and losses.

Best Pasadena Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can take many forms in Pasadena, California, but they generally fall into visual, verbal, and physical forms of harassment. Any images of a sexually suggestive or explicit nature can constitute sexual harassment against anyone who is subjected to them. Inappropriate images can be sent via email, text, or online. The images may also be printed and placed where other workers can see them.

Verbal sexual harassment could come in the form of solicitations for sexual favors or unwanted compliments about someone’s physique. The comments can be flattering or derogatory. In some cases, the verbal statements could mock a female for not wearing a dress, which could also constitute sexual harassment.

Physical sexual harassment could be overt and alarming, such as an attempt to make inappropriate physical contact. The physical contact could be less aggressive, such as an attempt to touch someone’s hand, but still unwanted. Physical harassment could also involve someone physically blocking you from leaving an uncomfortable situation.

If you are the victim of sexual harassment, take notes, collect documentation, report it to human resources or management, and contact a sexual harassment attorney to learn about your options.

Common Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

No position, age, or job title offers protection from sexual harassment. The unwanted acts can come from visiting clients, subordinates, and upper management. Here are some of the more common examples of sexual harassment that we see.

If a manager schedules private meetings with you on a regular basis, there is no clear need for the meetings, and the manager engages in discussions of inappropriate personal matters, the manager could be found at fault for committing sexual harassment.

Sexually suggestive or explicit jokes in the workplace are always inappropriate. Anyone who engages in this form of verbal harassment could be found liable for monetary damages. Ideally, such behavior would be quickly and promptly addressed by management or HR, but many workplaces fail to take this type of behavior seriously.

Sexual harassment can look a lot like bullying. If someone is harassed for not presenting traditional male and female traits, that can constitute sexual harassment. Anyone who is transgender or in the process of transitioning to a gender has the right to work without fear of intimidation or harassment.

If someone repeatedly asks a colleague to date them, those unwanted solicitations could constitute sexual harassment. Unwanted touching, even something like placing a hand on someone else’s shoulders, could constitute an unwanted sexual advance under the right circumstances.

When Does Harassment Become Illegal?

Your sexual harassment lawyer can provide legal advice on whether the actions of someone at work constitute sexual harassment. There are two main factors that the courts will consider when determining whether an action constitutes an illegal act.

The severity of the act is one factor. Some acts are so blatant and malicious that a single act can lead to legal action. One example would be groping. If a woman is grabbed by a man at work as part of a sexual advance, that act alone may constitute grounds for a sexual harassment case being brought against the at-fault party.

The repetitive nature of an act is another factor. A single act that may not qualify for legal action, such as a male coworker asking a female colleague on a date, could rise to the level of an illegal act if the male in that situation continuously asks the female out after being initially rejected.

Some cases have both a serious and repetitive nature. Others have only one element. No matter the circumstances of your experience with sexual harassment, an attorney can determine if an illegal act occurred.

What Actions Can I Take Against the At-Fault Party?

Some matters can be handled in the workplace. Ideally, the person who committed the harassment would be immediately disciplined or, if warranted, terminated. Unfortunately, not every workplace takes reports of sexual harassment seriously.

Following the first incident, begin taking detailed notes of these occurrences. Any communications describing the harassment or documenting the incident, including all communications with HR, should be saved.

Filing a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is one option. Another is to file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department. Your lawyer can help you file your complaint. Having a lawyer also helps ensure that your complaint is taken seriously.

You can also take direct legal action against the at-fault party. This could be against the individual who commits the harassment, the employer that failed to address the problem, or a combination of those parties.

The first step could involve sending a demand letter outlining the offense and possible remedies. If the respondent agrees to those terms, the matter will be settled without the need for litigation. If the respondent does not agree to the terms in the demand letter, your lawyer can file a claim in the court that has jurisdiction over the case.

The next stage involves hearings and the discovery process, where both the plaintiff and defendant gain access to evidence that supports or rebuts the plaintiff’s claims.

During this time period, the defendant may decide to offer a settlement. If the settlement is suitable for the plaintiff, the case will be closed following the transfer of the settlement funds. If both sides cannot agree to settlement terms, the case will go to trial, where a jury or judge will decide who is at fault and how much money is owed, if any.

Benefits of Taking Legal Action

The decision to take legal action against a harasser in your workplace is never an easy one. Many workers worry if their job security will be in jeopardy or if they will face retaliation for pursuing legal remedies.

The court process can help you heal after a traumatizing and humiliating experience. While many acts do not rise to the level of a crime, the civil courts can hold the perpetrators of heinous acts accountable. A successful case could result in the defendant being ordered to pay compensation to their victim.

In other situations, the perpetrator and other workers may be ordered to take training to prevent further incidents. Legal claims often lead to a healthier work environment. It can even prevent future incidents of sexual harassment.

FAQs for Pasadena Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Q: What Is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

A: Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves at-fault parties who are in a position of power or influence. When business leaders make ultimatums, often asking for sexual favors in return for promotions, the victims of those inappropriate propositions can take legal action. Anyone who uses their position to manipulate a worker is abusing their position, and the fallout for these types of claims can be serious.

Q: What Is Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment?

A: Hostile work environment refers to workplaces that create an intimidating and abusive environment due to the actions of one or more people. In these spaces, multiple people can become victims of sexual harassment. Environments, where inappropriate jokes and sexual comments are the norm, can create liabilities for multiple people who allow or condone those environments.

Q: What Are the Three Types of Sexual Harassment?

A: The three types of sexual harassment are visual, verbal, and physical. Respectively, these could include inappropriate posters at work, verbal compliments about a worker’s body or clothing articles, and unsolicited physical contact of any kind. Any of these actions could be grounds for legal recourse with the help of your Pasadena sexual harassment lawyer.

Q: What Makes a Strong Harassment Case?

A: A strong harassment case is based on strong evidence. Taking notes during or shortly after the acts of sexual harassment can bolster your case. Saving inappropriate emails or text messages can also be powerful evidence. Testimony by colleagues that corroborates the misconduct can also strengthen a case. Internal emails and HR documents are also good sources of information that can reinforce your case.

Q: What Is the Burden of Proof in a Workplace Harassment Case?

A: The burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, meaning the person making the allegation. The respondent is known as the defendant, and the plaintiff must show that a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that the defendant is at fault for taking actions that led to the plaintiff’s harm. Your sexual harassment lawyer can gather evidence to meet the burden of proof.

Q: What Is Indirect Harassment?

A: Indirect harassment refers to situations where someone in the workplace feels sexually harassed, even when the at-fault party may not have been directly targeting that victim. One example would be a worker who keeps a sexually explicit poster near their computer that anyone could see. This can create an uncomfortable and hostile workplace environment.

Schedule Your Pasadena Sexual Harassment Consultation Today

No settlement or judgment can undo the harm and humiliation that result from sexual harassment in the workplace. Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP, can help victims recover, though, by holding the at-fault party accountable. Monetary compensation is a common form of relief awarded by the courts, and court-ordered compensation can often prevent further workers from becoming victims of sexual harassment. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today.

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