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San Francisco Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Sexual harassment is gender discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Thanks to social movements like #MeToo, many employers have recently become more aware of the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, expanded their anti-harassment training, and enacted stricter sexual harassment policies. However, sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be a serious problem in California, and employees at all levels of a company need a clear, strong understanding of what actions can constitute sexual harassment and what conduct is acceptable under the law. 

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, be sure to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable San Francisco sexual harassment attorney. You could have a valid legal claim that entitles you to compensation. 

What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Workplace sexual harassment generally falls into two categories – quid-pro-quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. Quid-pro-quo is Latin for “this for that” and describes situations where an employee is offered a reward in exchange for sexual favor or threatened with negative action if they don’t comply. This behavior is usually, but not always, directed at an employee by a manager or someone with supervisory authority over the employee. The creation of a hostile work environment, on the other hand, is harassment which has a negative impact on the victim employee’s working conditions or ability to perform the employee’s job duties.

Generally, sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination involving prohibited behavior that is unwanted and results in harm to the person being harassed. Some examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
  • Being touched in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Inappropriate communications including letters, notes, emails, texts, and phone calls
  • The sharing of explicit photos or videos
  • The spreading of sexually-charged rumors
  • Gender-based remarks, which may or may not be sexual in nature
  • Inappropriate sexual gestures, jokes, or implications
  • Retaliation for ending or refusing a sexual or romantic relationship
  • Unwanted gifts of a sexual or romantic nature
  • Sexual demands with words or actions
  • Off-color jokes or offensive nicknames

Some forms of harassment are clearer than others, and the following can all be true of workplace sexual harassment in California:

  • The victim or the perpetrator may be of any gender and doesn’t have to be of the opposite sex
  • The offender can be a direct supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or even a non-employee like a client or a customer
  • The victim could be anyone impacted by the offensive conduct, not just the person it was directed towards—for example, a co-worker who witnessed the behavior
  • Sexual harassment can occur without economic harm to or firing of the victim

Sexual Harassment Examples

Sexual harassment is not always apparent, so it’s critical that anyone who believes they are a victim of such behavior discuss their circumstances with an experienced San Francisco sexual harassment lawyer. An attorney can gather the necessary details and evidence to determine if a valid sexual harassment claim exists.

Conduct based on an employee’s gender that interferes with an employee’s ability to work puts their job on the line or creates a hostile work environment is considered sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment that may not be as obvious as others include:

  • Workplace policies that have a disparate impact on one gender
  • Assignment of work or projects based on gender
  • Sexual banter in the workplace, such as asking sexual questions, telling lewd jokes, or sharing sexual anecdotes
  • Requiring that employees maintain a gender-conforming appearance
  • Repeated hugs or other forms of unwanted touching 

Turn to a Skilled San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyer 

If you think you’ve been subjected to workplace sexual harassment, you should discuss your case with an experienced San Francisco sexual harassment lawyer at the Law Office of Jeannette A. Vaccaro today to find out what rights you have under federal and California laws. Contact us to schedule a confidential case review.

Think You May
Have A Case?

Jeannette is passionate about employee rights. She fights to shed light on injustices and to help her clients move beyond troubling times. Contact Jeannette today for a free case evaluation.

Jeannette A. Vaccaro is a Passionate and zealous advocate, representing employees in all facets of employment law.

Think You May Have A Case?

Jeannette is passionate about employee rights. She fights to shed light on injustices and to help her clients move beyond troubling times. Contact Jeannette today for a free case evaluation.

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