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 …

Twitter is accused of gender discrimination

In the wake of the much-publicized Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial, the national spotlight is newly focused on the issue of gender discrimination and bias in the tech world. The latest big name tech company to be named in a suit is Twitter, which is facing a class action lawsuit for sexual discrimination. Former software  Read More …

EEOC’s New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines and Fair Employment: Know Your Rights

    Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed article on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s new guidelines to pregnancy discrimination laws. Suffice to say, the writer of said Wall Street Journal piece found little justification for the new legislation. Instead, he claimed that the new changes were simply another “radical legal interpretation” that  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 …

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 …

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 …

Do You Need a Sexual Harassment Lawyer?

Sexual harassment can manifest itself in different forms, which makes it difficult for a sexual harassment victim to accurately assess the strength of their harassment claim and/or retaliation claim and what the next steps ought to be. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you navigate the complications involved in employment law. In California, the courts  Read More …

Common Mistake #9 – Failing to File an Administrative Complaint in Time

As a prerequisite for a lawsuit for sexual harassment in California, a potential plaintiff is required to get a right to sue letter from either the DFEH or the EEOC. If an administrative claim to the DFEH or the EEOC is not filed within the time period provided by the applicable statute of limitations, then  Read More …

Common Mistake #8 – Taking Management’s Word That the Victim Does Not Have a Case

An employer’s human resources department has the goal of protecting the employer. After a sexual harassment victim makes a complaint to management or the human resources department, it is important for sexual harassment victims to realize that they should not necessarily take management’s word in determining whether they have a viable legal claim. The information  Read More …

Common Mistake #7 – Not Understanding Retaliation

   It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against a sexual harassment or discrimination victim for filing a charge with the DFEH or EEOC, participating in a sexual harassment investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices. If, for example, an employee makes a claim of sexual harassment that does meet the legal criteria of being sufficiently  Read More …

Common Mistake #6 – Not Knowing What Constitutes Actionable Sexual Harassment or Discrimination

   It is important for victims to know their rights. Using tools such as literature on sexual harassment and the advice of an attorney to understand what conduct constitutes sexual harassment is a powerful step in confirming a victim’s rights and can build confidence and assist in moving forward with the next steps in stopping  Read More …

Common Mistake #4 – Failing to Follow-Up After Complaining to the Employer

   After an employee makes a complaint to his or her employer regarding sexual harassment, the employer is required to take action. The California FEHA states that employers must take all reasonable steps to prevent unlawful harassment. California and federal law requires that an employer must take remedial action in response to a report of sexual harassment.  Read More …

Common Mistake #3 – Not Reporting the Harassment Early

   Under California law, there is an affirmative defense to limit damages in harassment actions called the avoidable consequences defense, which an employer may raise when a sexual harassment victim delays reporting the harassment to the employer. California courts have recognized that a defending employer has the ability to plead an affirmative defense in sexual harassment  Read More …

Common Mistake #2 – Not Documenting the Harassment

   As the harassment occurs, it can be helpful in later litigation to have a written account of each incident of harassment that took place. As part of documenting the harassment, make sure to save any memos, letters or emails that are related to the harassment, but be careful not to violate the employer’s confidentiality  Read More …

Common Mistake #1 – Not Telling the Harasser to Stop

   In order to prove a cause of action for sexual harassment, the plaintiff must show that the harasser’s behavior was unwanted. In order to be sure that the harasser knows that his or her conduct is unwanted, a victim should tell the harasser to stop.   A victim of sexual harassment should clearly tell  Read More …