Workplace Sexual Harassment: Were you the Victim of Hostile Work Environment Harassment?
Perhaps never before has American workplace sexual harassment been scrutinized as closely as
it has in the past several years. New discussion forums, protest marches, and support groups
have brought to light terrible workplace conduct that had been hidden for years. It is important
for all employees across America to realize that they have the right to a workplace free of
unwanted sexual behaviors. Both state and federal law offer comprehensive protections for
workers in this regard. If you have experienced unwanted sexual comments, gestures, or
actions in the workplace, it is important to consult with an experienced employment law
attorney about your legal rights. The Jafari Law Group represents workers across Orange
County in order to protect their right to work in a safe environment that is free of unwanted
The Different Types of Sexual Harassment
Both federal and California state law separate sexual harassment into two different categories.
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a supervisor (or another person in a position of
authority) offers an employee better wages, hours, perquisites, or other working conditions in
exchange for sexual favors. It can also occur if the employee is threatened with the removal of
these perks unless he or she complies with the supervisor’s request for sexual favors.
The other type of sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to a hostile work
environment. A hostile work environment is created when an employee is subjected to
unwanted sexual behavior (including words, gestures, and actions). In order to constitute illegal
sexual harassment, the conduct must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions
of employment and create an abusive working environment. (Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson,
477 U.S. 57)(1986)(adopted by Court of Appeals of California in Fisher v. San Pedro Peninsula
Hospital, 214 Cal. App. 3d 599)(1989).
The high standard of “altering the conditions of employment” means that many one-off jokes
will not rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment. This does not, of course, mean that they
are acceptable. An experienced attorney can help employees bring these concerns to their
employers, or bring a legal action against employers who do not respond appropriately. And of
course, there is a significant amount of uncertainty over what, precisely, is conduct severe
enough to meet this standard. This is why it is so important for victimized employees to seek
legal advice about their legal rights.
Aggressive Representation of Your Legal Right to a Workplace Free of Sexual Harassment
For decades, Orange County workers have trusted the experienced employment attorneys at
the Jafari Law Group to protect their legal rights in the workplace. It is important to consult
with an attorney as soon as possible after a potential legal violation has occurred. Quick action
can protect evidence from being destroyed, act as an immediate deterrent to unlawful
workplace conduct, and give access to the most options for legal recourse. Call (949) 362-0100
today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Orange County employment law