Newport Beach Sexual Harassment Attorney
More Than $250 Million Recovered for Clients
Sexual harassment is one of the biggest issues facing employees in every industry. While Hollywood and Harvey Weinstein’s exploits recently shone the media spotlight on the problem and #MeToo accounts are pervasive, we’ve known about the insidious grip of harassment in the workplace for years. Whether harassment is male on female or same sex, it is usually based on an unequal power dynamic where the harasser wields his or her influence in the workplace over the victim. Wherever on the ladder the conduct falls, from leering looks or sporadic sexual comments at the bottom to physical assault at the top, sexual harassment is completely illegal and justice is only limited by employees’ fear of rocking the boat, and victims’ tendency to blame themselves. If you’ve been harassed in any manner at all, or if you feel that you are stuck in a hostile work environment, it’s important that you take the first step by at least recognizing that fact and reaching out. Calling the Carter Law Firm doesn’t commit you to filing a lawsuit or even taking any action. Our Newport Beach sexual harassment attorneys keep your account of what happened completely confidential, and simply advise you of your options.
What Counts as Sexual Harassment?
As far as the law, sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination which has received increasing attention in the courts since its legal recognition nearly 40 years ago. Sexual harassment has grown from its original quid pro quo formulation to include harassment by peers and the creation of hostile environments.
In the classic quid pro quo case, a supervisor is conditioning some facet of employment on sexual favors. The aspect of employment could be a raise or promotion, more favorable working conditions, or keeping one's job altogether. Sexual favors can range from agreeing to see the supervisor socially to outright demands for sex. While asking a subordinate out on a date is not sexual harassment per se, any conditioning of favorable or unfavorable job action on the employee's acceptance or refusal can be the basis for a sexual harassment lawsuit.
While quid pro quo discrimination still occurs, the majority of cases these days involve claims of a hostile work environment. A hostile environment is created by the presence of unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is pervasive to a degree that the conduct creates an intimidating atmosphere that interferes with employee performance.
While a hostile environment cannot be specifically defined, examples of behavior that could create a hostile environment include:
- Unwelcome touching; impeding or blocking movements
- Verbal sexual abuse: sexually explicit language, "dirty jokes," inappropriate comments
- Sexually suggestive letters or notes, graffiti in bathrooms, pornographic pictures or cartoons in workspaces, locker rooms, or lounges
- Obscene, rude, or inappropriate gestures
Most recently, the law in this area has evolved to include harassment by peers (not just supervisors), reverse discrimination (women harassing males), and issues of same-sex harassment (males harassing males; females harassing females).
Cisco $20 Million
Bank of America $16.7 Million
Abercrombie & Fitch $9.6 Million
Toys 'R' Us $7.5 Million
Verizon Wireless $6.9 Million
Big Lots $6.5 Million
Sprint $4.9 Million
Paramount $2.4 Million
Bed Bath & Beyond $2 Million