In California, you have the right to a safe and secure work environment no matter what your age, gender or position in the company is. Unfortunately, some individuals feel that they are above the law when it comes to how they treat their coworkers. Managers and supervisors, for example, often feel they can make sexual advances either verbally or physically and get away with it, because they believe that the victim will be too frightened for their job to speak out. You may even be one such victim.
Regardless of who is harassing you in your place of work, whether you are a male or a female or the harasser is a male or a female, you are protected by California and federal law from sexual harassment. You should know that there are different types of sexual harassment, and you should exercise your right to be protected from both types.
When a manager or similar co-worker coerces you into offering them sexual favors in exchange for some kind of reward (be it promotion or continued employment), you are the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment. If you are subjected to unwanted sexual advances or lewd jokes, then you are the victim of a hostile work environment. Either of these offenses could see the company held responsible for your treatment, and you could be entitled to compensation.
If you are not sure whether you are the victim of sexual harassment, visit our sexual harassment webpage to learn more of the signs, as well as see a list of examples of sexual harassment. If you are suffering from any of the noted issues, consider meeting with an attorney. You could be compensated, but most importantly, you will be treated fairly.