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How Is Sexual Harassment Identified?

It may be difficult to ascertain whether someone’s actions count as sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment takes many forms, but each makes you feel uncomfortable and unsafe in the workplace, and none should be tolerated.

Caskey & Holzman is committed to ending sexual harassment wherever we can. Our attorneys have championed workers throughout the Los Angeles area and are here to protect your right to a safe work environment. But what counts as sexual harassment, and how do you know if you’re a target?

Physical Sexual Harassment

This is the most obvious form of sexual harassment and can make you feel the most uncomfortable and unsafe. Examples include:

  • Your co-worker or supervisor touches you in a sexual manner.
  • You are sexually assaulted in the workplace by a co-worker or supervisor.
  • A co-worker or manager makes inappropriate, potentially violent advances toward you.

These situations can be the most difficult to navigate alone. Our lawyers can help guide you through the steps to protect your rights and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Verbal Sexual Harassment

This form of sexual harassment may be difficult to recognize, as many brush it off as simply “locker room talk.” But when anyone’s comments or words cause you to feel uncomfortable or targeted sexually, you need to take swift action. Examples of verbal harassment include:

  • Your boss makes inappropriate sexual comments about your body, which you find highly offensive.
  • Your manager repeatedly asks you out on a date and will not accept “no” for an answer.
  • A co-worker sends you and other office staff members emails containing sexual imagery, which you and others working in the office find offensive.

While emails are not necessarily verbal, they have a similar effect as a co-worker telling lewd jokes in the office. Words and images can foster a hostile work environment and can be just as harmful as physical advances.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment

This form of harassment is an exchange of sexual favors for a benefit on the job. This typically occurs in two forms:

  • Your boss offers you a promotion or another job benefit in exchange for sex.
  • You are demoted or fired for refusing to comply with your manager’s sexual advances.

While you do not consent to these advances, you are pressured to do so for the sake of your job. This can be a particularly dangerous form of sexual harassment, as it leaves you truly feeling trapped with no way out.

It’s Time To Fight Back

Far too often, employers take advantage of their workers — whether they participate in sexual harassment themselves or they refuse to take action against co-workers who may be harassing you. But California has a wide range of protections for workers, and our attorneys are here to passionately stand up for your rights and put a stop to this behavior.

We offer free case evaluations to discuss your case and determine how we should continue. Call our Calabasas office at 323-391-3984 or toll-free at 800-403-7096 to set up your appointment, or reach out online to get started.