Sexual harassment remains a widespread problem in many California workplaces. For victims, the physical and emotional toll can be severe, leading to anxiety, depression, and lasting trauma. They often fear retaliation or believe speaking up will be futile. Workplace sexual harassment attorneys can serve as powerful advocates for employees who have suffered unlawful harassment.
A California sexual harassment lawyer intimately familiar with California laws can advise victims on their rights, guide them through reporting procedures, facilitate proper investigations, and pursue litigation if employers fail to respond appropriately. With dedicated legal counsel, victims can take a stand, validate their experiences, and fight to spark lasting cultural change in their industry.
At TONG LAW, our firm provides exactly this kind of tenacious, compassionate representation. We strive to empower victims to reclaim their dignity and reshape company policies around sexual misconduct. If you have suffered harassment in a California workplace, contact our team today.
Your Legal Rights and Options If You’ve Been Sexually Harassed at Work
Sexual harassment can make any employee feel powerless, but in California, you have legal protections and options for taking action. Consulting with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer is key to understanding your rights under state and federal law. They will advise you on the best steps to take in your situation.
If you have experienced unwelcome sexual conduct, advances, or a hostile work environment, you may file a sexual harassment complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). An investigation into the employer will be conducted, which could involve mediation. If your claim is unresolved, you can request a right-to-sue letter to pursue litigation.
You also have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the employer and harasser(s). The law provides for the recovery of compensatory damages for emotional distress and lost wages, as well as punitive damages to punish the company. An attorney can build a strong case by gathering documentation, witness statements, and other evidence on your behalf. They can negotiate an optimal settlement or take the case to trial to hold the employer accountable.
Do not let fear or intimidation prevent you from exercising your legal options. An experienced sexual harassment attorney will empower you to take action, protect your rights, and seek the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.
What Compensation Is Available in Sexual Harassment Cases?
Various types of monetary damages may be recovered in a successful sexual harassment lawsuit:
- Lost wages and benefits – Includes back pay and front pay for lost future earnings.
- Emotional distress – Damages for mental anguish, anxiety, depression.
- Punitive damages – Awarded in egregious cases to punish the employer.
- Attorney’s fees – If you win, the employer must pay your legal fees and costs.
Total compensation can reach hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars depending on the severity of the harassment. Every case is different, but having an experienced employment attorney maximizes results.
Sexual Harassment Is Illegal Under California and Federal Law
In California, sexual harassment is prohibited under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). FEHA defines sexual harassment broadly to include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment. Harassment can occur between coworkers or be perpetrated by a supervisor or manager.
Under FEHA, employers who allow sexual harassment to persist in the workplace can be held liable. The law covers employees, applicants, interns, volunteers, and contractors. Victims have the right to file a sexual harassment complaint with the DFEH. This must be done within three years of the harassment.
In addition, sexual harassment is unlawful under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act. The EEOC enforces Title VII, which prohibits harassment and discrimination based on sex. To file a federal charge of sexual harassment, there is a 300-day deadline from the last incident of harassment.
Both state and federal laws provide legal protection against unlawful sexual harassment in California workplaces. Understanding these laws is the first step, but victims of sexual harassment often need help from an attorney to take action.
Key Steps If You’ve Been Sexually Harassed at Work
Here are some key steps to take if you’ve experienced sexual harassment at work:
- Report the harassment to HR or management through proper channels. Get any agreements in writing.
- Keep a detailed record of incidents, including dates, times, locations, witness names, and the nature of the harassment.
- Document any evidence like texts, emails, photos, or interactions with the harasser.
- Notify upper management and the harasser’s supervisor if the harassment continues.
- Consider requesting a right-to-sue letter from the CRD after filing a charge.
- Consult an employment law attorney to discuss your legal rights and options for action. They can guide you through the process.
- An attorney can also help negotiate a severance package if the nature of the harassment forces you to leave your job.
Taking prompt action and documenting everything is essential. Our team can then use this information to build your case.
An Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights
If you believe you have been sexually harassed, speaking with an attorney should be your next step. An experienced sexual harassment lawyer can objectively assess whether the conduct crosses legal boundaries. They will advise you on properly documenting the incidents, reporting to human resources or management, and understanding all your options.
Communications with your attorney are kept completely confidential. This allows you to speak freely about sensitive details related to the harassment. An attorney can also provide counsel if your employer illegally retaliates against you for reporting sexual harassment.
Having a knowledgeable attorney fighting for you is crucial, whether negotiating a settlement or pursuing formal action. At our firm, we have helped victims recover compensation in many sexual harassment cases in California. TONG LAW has the skills and tenacity to build a compelling case on your behalf. Don’t go it alone – contact us today to discuss your case.
How an Attorney Can Help Sexual Harassment Victims in California
Sexual harassment attorneys have a wide range of tools at their disposal to help victims seek justice. An experienced lawyer can:
- Conduct an independent investigation of the harassment allegations, including interviews with witnesses.
- Collect and preserve evidence like communications, texts, photos, videos, and documentation.
- Send letters to the employer requesting evidence preservation.
- File complaints with the CRD and EEOC on your behalf.
- Negotiate a favorable pre-trial settlement on your behalf.
- Represent you in mediation or arbitration if needed.
- File a lawsuit against the employer and harasser(s) under FEHA or Title VII.
- Depose the defendant and subpoena witnesses to testify.
- Present evidence in court and advocate for maximum compensation
Having legal counsel to handle the many complex aspects of a sexual harassment case can make all the difference. Our firm’s sole focus is serving as aggressive advocates for victims.
Take a Stand Against Sexual Harassment in the Workplace With TONG LAW
If you have experienced sexual harassment in a California workplace, the team of dedicated advocates at TONG LAW is here to stand with you. We know how difficult and frightening this situation can be. A compassionate attorney will provide the counsel and representation needed to report misconduct, hold employers accountable, and help prevent future abuses of power in your industry.
Don’t struggle alone – contact us today for a confidential case review with an award-winning sexual harassment lawyer. The first step to getting justice is reaching out. With TONG LAW as your partner, we can transform this painful experience into lasting positive change.