Can You Secretly Record Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unacceptable under any circumstances, but most especially in the workplace. If you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, it is essential for you to immediately report the incident to your employer and that you follow your company’s sexual harassment policy to the tee. If the sexual harassment continues, it might become necessary for you to seek legal representation. A knowledgeable California workplace sexual-harassment attorney could investigate your harassment claim, and if necessary, take legal action against your employer.

Defining Sexual Harassment under California Law

Sexual harassment has a very specific definition within the context of California law. For starters, sexual harassment in the workplace violates the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. It also violates federal law — specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In a nutshell, sexual harassment can occur between two employees, or it can occur between an employer and an employee. It typically involves one or more actions that are based upon the employee’s sex – and which are related to a hostile, intimidating, and/or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment can also involve visual, physical, or verbal conduct that is clearly of a sexual nature and which is directed towards an employee.

If you believe that you were a victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, it is important that you undertake certain actions as soon as possible. First, you should make sure that you are fully aware of your company’s sexual harassment policy and that you follow all of the steps outlined in your employee handbook. This typically includes reporting the sexual harassment incident to a supervisor. If you do not take these steps, it can become more difficult to file a formal legal claim against your employer.

Moreover, in some instances, it might become necessary for you to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or some other state or federal agency. An experienced California workplace sexual harassment attorney can advise you on the correct legal steps to take.

Making a Recording of the Conversation

In many instances of sexual harassment, the question arises as to whether an alleged victim could make a recording of the sexual harassment well it is occurring. Under both California state and federal law, an individual cannot legally record a conversation with a coworker, boss, or someone else, without that individual’s express consent. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule.

For example, if you and the other individual are having the conversation in the context of a legal proceeding that is open to the public, during a public gathering, or in some other context where the parties would have a reasonable expectation that the conversation could be recorded, then the recording may be allowed — even without the express consent of the other individual.

If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, it is necessary for you to take prompt action to safeguard all of your rights. When following the steps outlined in your employee handbook is unsuccessful, an experienced attorney may be able to assist you with pursuing legal action against your employer and getting you the necessary results.

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