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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

“Bad Apples” and Their Effect on the Work Environment

Sexual harassers, who can often be deemed the “bad apples” of the work place, often have a large negative effect on the work environment beyond merely the conflict between the harasser and the victim. The Wall Street Journal recently printed an article titled “How a Few Bad Apples Ruin Everything”, which analyzes how nasty or  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 #10 – Not Checking for an Arbitration Agreement

Contractual arbitration has become increasingly popular for employers over the years, and so it is important for victims of sexual harassment to check to see if they are bound to arbitration, or whether they can instead file a lawsuit in Superior Court. It is important to determine if a victim is bound to arbitration before  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 #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 …