Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorneys Serving Silicon Valley, CA
Sexual harassment is an issue that has long plagued workplaces across various industries, but it has been particularly persistent in Silicon Valley’s tech sector. Despite the rise of the #MeToo movement and increased awareness around the subject, the problem persists. Understanding California laws and regulations concerning sexual harassment is important for both employers and employees.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law. If you’ve experienced this, you’re entitled to take legal action with the help of a Silicon Valley sexual harassment lawyer against the responsible parties.
Understanding California and Federal Laws on Sexual Harassment
In the legal landscape, sexual harassment is governed by both state and federal laws. In California, the primary law is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), while at the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 plays a significant role. It’s important to note that FEHA often provides more comprehensive protections than Title VII. As a result, most victims in California choose to file their sexual harassment claims under FEHA.
This state law applies to employers with five or more employees and extends its protections to a wide range of workers, including full-time, part-time, contractors, unpaid interns, and volunteers. Employers are obligated to take preventive measures against harassment and to act swiftly when complaints arise. Failure to do so can lead to serious legal consequences, including fines and the possibility of court action.
Types of Sexual Harassment in Silicon Valley
In California, sexual harassment is broadly categorized into two types: “quid pro quo” and “hostile work environment.”
- Quid Pro Quo: This form of harassment is when employment benefits are made conditional upon sexual favors. For example, a supervisor might promise a promotion in exchange for a date. Such actions are not only unethical but also illegal under California law.
- Hostile Work Environment: This involves unwanted sexual conduct that interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. It can range from inappropriate jokes to unwanted advances and physical contact.
It’s important to understand that the harasser can be of any gender and can even be a third party, like a client or customer. The law protects not just employees but also job applicants, unpaid interns, and contractors.
Along with sexual harassment, molestation can occur as well. If you have become a victim to molestation contact our Silicon Valley molestation lawyers right away.
Rights of Sexual Harassment Victims
If you find yourself a victim of sexual harassment in Silicon Valley, it’s crucial to know that California law is on your side. Victims have the right to:
- Report Harassment: You can report the incident to your employer, human resources, or directly to the authorities. California law mandates employers to investigate any claims thoroughly.
- Seek Legal Remedies: Victims can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or proceed directly to court. Remedies may include compensation for lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
Protection from Retaliation: California law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report sexual harassment. This includes any form of adverse employment action like demotion, termination, or unfavorable job assignments.
Employers in California have a legal obligation to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment. The responsibilities include:
- Prevention: Employers must take reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring. This often involves training programs and clear policies that are communicated to all employees.
- Investigation: Upon receiving a complaint, employers are required to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into the allegations.
- Action: If the investigation confirms the occurrence of harassment, the employer must take appropriate corrective action, which may include disciplinary measures against the harasser.
When experiencing harassment as an employee, contact our Silicon Valley employment harassment attorneys before it becomes too late. Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP have the legal tools necessary to defend and fight for you.
Contact Our Silicon Valley Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today
Sexual harassment remains a pervasive issue in Silicon Valley, but understanding your rights and responsibilities under California law can empower you to take decisive action. Whether you’re an employee facing harassment or an employer striving to create a safer work environment, taking assistance from a Silicon Valley sexual harassment lawyer is important. At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, our Silicon Valley sexual harassment lawyers specialize in California employment law and are committed to helping you go through this challenging landscape. Don’t let harassment go unaddressed. We encourage you to reach out to us today for specialized legal advice and representation.