What is Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment?

“Hostile work environment” sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subject to unwelcome advances, sexual innuendos, or offensive gender-related language that is sufficiently severe or pervasive from the perspective of a reasonable person of the same gender as the offended employee. Hostile work environment harassment requires, under the law, a link between the hostility by  Read More …

Common Mistakes of Sexual Harassment Victims

You know you’ve been harassed and it’s time to take action. Your next steps could have important consequences for your sexual harassment case. Educate yourself and preserve the integrity of your sexual harassment case. Click through the links below to our articles and videos detailing some of the common mistakes that sexual harassment victims make and  Read More …

What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

“Quid pro quo” translates from Latin to English as “this for that.”  The basic idea is that of an exchange.  I do something for you, and you, in turn, do something for me.  You may have heard the saying, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”  This conveys the same underlying message, and it  Read More …

Sexual Harassment v. Gender Discrimination

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the United States Federal law in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace and harassment based on the sex of an employee. Harassment is conduct that is not necessary for the performance of a supervisory job, but is instead outside  Read More …

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

The sexual harassment statute of limitations in California is that a victim must file a charge of discrimination with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within ONE YEAR from the date of the last incident of sexual harassment. The victim then has the option to ask the DFEH to investigate the claim or  Read More …

What is Illegal Retaliation?

It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who has made a  discrimination or sexual harassment claim, or who has filed a charge with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or who has participated in a sexual harassment investigation as either a complainer or a witness,  Read More …

Wrongful Termination Against Public Policy

Wrongful Termination Against Public Policy In California, it is unlawful for your employer to terminate you for a reason that is against public policy. Examples of reasons for termination that are against public policy is if your employer terminated you because of a protected characteristic, such as because of your sex, race, disability, religion, sexual  Read More …

When is Bullying at Work Illegal?

Bullying has been a hot-button topic in recent years, particularly school bullying, which has resulted in a number of tragic student suicides.  But long after leaving high school behind, many face bullying as adults, including bullying in the workplace, cyberbullying, and domestic violence. Bullying in the workplace can give rise to legal claims.  Workplace bullies  Read More …

Title IX Claims

Title IX Claims Have Strict Reporting Requirements Under Title IX, universities such as Stanford are obliged to implement policies that employees, including student staff, must report all Title IX related concerns so that notification ultimately is given to the Title IX coordinator. The Stanford policy says all Stanford University employees, including student staff, must report  Read More …

Are Counselors Bound to Report Sexual Harassment Incidents on Campus under Title IX?

By Timothy Broderick, Lawyer at Broderick Saleen Law Firm Confidential communications with bona fide psychological counselors are protected under the university policy as well as under the ethical rules of confidentiality for psychologists. A major exception to the confidentiality for communications to psychologists is if the counseled party is a threat to themselves or others.  Read More …

Confidentiality for a Potential Title IX Claim is Not Guaranteed

By Timothy Broderick, Attorney at Broderick Saleen Law Firm If a victim of sexual harassment at a university such as Stanford requests confidentiality in making a report of sexual harassment, the university will give “serious consideration” to the request. The policy at Stanford is that only in rare circumstances will the university proceed to a  Read More …

Emotional Distress Claims in Sexual Harassment Cases

Victims of sexual harassment often add a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress to their complaints. To support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s conduct was so outrageous that it exceeded all bounds that are usually tolerated in a civilized community.  Severe emotional distress means  Read More …

Bullying at School and Work Involves Power Imbalance

The Fairmeadow Elementary School has adopted an approach to anti-bullying which embeds anti bullying lessons in the curriculum and revisits the issue of bullying on a regular basis.  The newer lessons teach empathy, not just for the bullied child but also for the bully, and encourage other children to become “upstanders” against bullying rather than  Read More …

Gun Companies Add More Marketing to Women

Gun companies are increasing their marketing to women through products such as pink Flash Bang Bra holsters and tight “compression” shorts with built in gun holders. Some online gun retailer sites also offer bullet jewelry or jokey T-shirts with slogans like “P.M.S. (Packing’ My Sidearm)”. The Wall Street Journal reports that such marketing is coming  Read More …

Women’s Progress in Careers

Despite having to face sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, women are making progress. The Wall Street Journal reports that women account for a third of the nation’s lawyers and doctors, a major shift from a generation ago when those professions were occupied almost exclusively by men. The Wall Street Journal article goes on  Read More …

How to Avoid Summary Judgment in Sexual Harassment Cases

The California Supreme Court has consistently supported summary judgment against plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases where the plaintiff has not made out a case that is sufficient under the legal definitions of “severe” or “pervasive”.  The California Supreme Court says “severe” means an offensive touching involving physical violence or a threat thereof.  For sexual harassment  Read More …

Third Party Rights to Bring Retaliation Claims

In the case of Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP, the plaintiff, Thompson, claimed he was fired by his employer in retaliation for his fiancé’s filing of an EEOC complaint against the same employer. On January 24, 2011, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects a third-party  Read More …

Hughes v. Pair Presents Potential Quid Pro Quo Loophole

The California Supreme Court in Hughes v. Pair (July 2009) ruled that sexual requests to a plaintiff, without consequential adverse action in response to a plaintiff’s refusal to comply with sexual favors, does not constitute quid pro quo sexual harassment. After the plaintiff’s trustees had voted to give her money for just one month for  Read More …

Pervasive Cases in Point

To establish a claim of hostile work environment sexual harassment, an employee must prove that the sexual harassment was either sufficiently severe or sufficiently pervasive. It can be difficult to point out what the courts will and will not consider as sufficiently pervasive sexual harassment. The courts have indicated that a sufficiently pervasive sexual harassment  Read More …

What is Sufficiently Severe Sexual Harassment for a Hostile Work Environment Claim?

In order for a hostile work environment lawsuit to be viable, the sexual harassment must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the victim’s employment and create an abusive and hostile work environment. There is no bright line rule for what conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive sexual harassment to constitute a hostile work environment.  Read More …

What is Sufficiently Pervasive Sexual Harassment for a Hostile Work Environment Claim?

A successful hostile work environment sexual harassment claim must show that the harassment is sufficiently severe of pervasive to alter the victim’s environment into one what is hostile and abusive. The hostile work environment sexual harassment may be either severe or pervasive or both. With respect to the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, courts have held  Read More …

Using Your Strengths to Overcome Sexual Harassment

Determine your top five character strengths and how to use them to overcome and cope with the effects of sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment can create an offensive work environment, leaving victims feeling fear, guilt or shame—but they are far from helpless in overcoming and coping with the effects of harassment. Get informed,  Read More …

What is Sexual Harassment According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably  Read More …

Sexual Favoritism and Hostile Work Environment

Sexual favoritism can create a hostile work environment, even for those who are not sexually propositioned. California law provides that plaintiffs may establish the existence of a hostile work environment, even when they themselves have not been sexually propositioned. Widespread favoritism based upon consensual sexual affairs may imbue the workplace with an atmosphere that is  Read More …

Taking the First Steps

Attorney Timothy Broderick discusses the options one has in taking the first steps in responding to sexual harassment in the workplace.   ______ Attorney Timothy Broderick’s LinkedIn page. Attorney Timothy Broderick’s Avvo page. Attorney Katrina Saleen’s LinkedIn page. Attorney Katrina Saleen’s Avvo Page. Visit attorneys Timothy Broderick and Katrina Saleen at: Broderick Saleen Facebook Broderick  Read More …

Sexual Harassment Attorney Katrina Telfer Saleen’s Video Biography

Attorney Katrina Telfer Saleen of the Broderick Law Firm shares some personal background and her motivations for practicing sexual harassment law.