Under California law, workplace sexual harassment is illegal. Sadly, it’s still a frequent occurrence that must be addressed. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or even conversation that is sexual in nature. It’s also essential to note that under the law, sexual harassment doesn’t have to be sexual in nature. For example, simply making offensive comments about an individual’s gender can constitute sexual harassment. Making offensive remarks about someone’s gender, in general, can be considered harassment to everyone in the workplace of that gender. What the law hasn’t made quite as clear is if behavior towards individuals of the same gender count as sexual harassment.
Can a Woman Sexually Harass Another Woman?
You might be wondering if sexual harassment counts if the other person is someone of the same gender. It most certainly does. Sexual harassment is the same whether the victim or harasser are of the same or different sexes. A woman can be guilty of sexually harassing another female, and in the same way, a man can be guilty of sexually harassing another male.
Examples of sexual harassment include but aren’t limited to:
- Subtle pressure for sexual activity
- Negative remarks about one’s gender
- Inappropriate or offensive personal sexual remarks
- Sexually suggestive notes, gestures, teasing, jokes
- Unwelcome and deliberate touching, patting, or pinching
- Attempts to fondle or kiss
- Pressure for dates or sex
- Sexually demeaning remarks, sexual graffiti, or offensive comics or illustrations
- Requests for sexual favors in exchange for bonuses, salary increases, or promotions
What to Do If You’re Being Sexually Harassed at Work
No one has to or should tolerate sexual harassment or any other type of harassment in California workplaces. It’s your right to stand up for yourself and even for others who are facing sexual harassment, even if the person doing the harassment is a supervisor or boss. This type of conduct is inappropriate no matter who displays it, and they should be called out for it. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s also forbidden under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA. Under both laws, sexual harassment is categorized as a type of employment discrimination. You should also seek the opinion of a qualified California sexual harassment lawyer.
Speak to California Workplace Sexual Harassment Attorney Today
No matter where you work, you have the right to feel safe and comfortable in your workplace. You shouldn’t be exposed to occupational hazards, feel unsafe, and be free from discrimination and harassment. If you are being sexually harassed at work, even by someone of the same gender, you need to know that you have rights. The other party’s behavior is unacceptable and illegal. An attorney can help direct you on what to do next. Your employer is obligated to take steps to get this behavior to stop, and they can’t take any retaliatory actions against you for reporting the harassment. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.