When sexual harassment happens in the workplace, it can be disturbing on so many levels. Apart from the confusion and hurt they can cause, these events can also have a devastating effect on your self-belief and ability to do your job. Nobody should suffer harassment at work, whether on the basis of sex or any other characteristic. California and federal laws recognize this too and this is why there are strict provisions against sexual harassment at work.
Unfortunately, harassment remains a persistent problem in California workplaces, and many employees continue to suffer unlawful conduct as a result. At Eldessouky Law, our employment law attorneys have fought sexual harassment and other injustices against workers in El Monte, CA and throughout California for several years. We understand that the harassment you are facing is not your fault and you should not have to pay for it. If you would like to take action against the responsible parties, our El Monte sexual harassment attorneys can help you hold them to account.
Sexual Harassment Does Not Have to Be Motivated by Sexual Desire
It can be easy to think that sexual harassment only happens when your harasser is sexually interested in you. But it’s much wider than just situations of sexual intention or desire. Under California law, all instances where sex or gender is used as a tool of harassment, or as a weapon to create an abusive work environment, are regarded as sexual harassment. Pantoja v. Anton (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 87, 114 [129 Cal.Rptr.3d 384].
This means sexual harassment can include instances of abuse, threats, ridicule or inappropriate jokes made because of sex or gender. In fact, it can even include situations of harassment based on “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.” Government Code section 12940(j)(4)(C). If you have suffered harassment on any of these grounds, you have a right file a complaint.
Can I Be Terminated for Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
Under most circumstances, your employer cannot fire you solely because you complained of sexual harassment. The law takes your rights to freedom from harassment seriously, and provides wide protections even after you complain. It regards such instances asretaliation, which is simply unacceptable.
It is not only illegal for your employer to terminate you after filing a complaint, they cannot legally subject you to unfavorable employment decisions as a result. If you suspect you were passed over for promotion, demoted or had your benefits withdrawn because of your complaint, reach out to Eldessouky Law immediately.
Wrongful Termination Attorneys in El Monte, CA
Our employment law attorneys at Eldessouky Law have proudly supported the workers in LA County, including El Monte, for several years. It is important to us that employees in the community understand their rights and the protections available to them under the law.
While many employers are law abiding and protect the rights of their workers, some escape and cause unjustified harm through harassment and other unlawful conduct. When these situations occur, it is our duty to correct the injustice and help our clients recover.
El Monte Economy and Top Employers
The friendly city of El Monte, CA is home to more than 113,000 residents. Situated in an agriculturally rich portion of the San Gabriel Valley, the accommodating city is also home to some of the most well-loved variety shows in the country.
Some of the largest employers in El Monte, CA include:
- El Monte City Elementary School District: 1,500 employees
- El Monte Union High School District: 1,400 employees
- Mountain View Elementary School District: 1,000 employees
- Longo Toyota-Lexus: 831 employees
- City of El Monte: 505 employees
- McGill Corporation: 475 employees
- Staffing Solutions: 266 employees
- Asian Pacific Health Care Venture: 260 employees
- The Home Depot: 251 employees
- Sam’s Club: 203 employees
For workers in El Monte, the protection provided by California labor laws is important to achieving fulfilment and career advancement at work. Our wrongful termination attorneys work tirelessly to ensure no one is deprived of these protections and has easy access to justice when harm results. If your employer has exposed you to unlawful conduct at work, we want to hear your story today.
Eldessouky Law Practice Areas in El Monte, CA
Our legal practice at Eldessouky Law focuses on the importance of employee rights and situations that affect these rights. We understand that unlawful activity at work can be very damaging, both professionally and personally.
This is we provide assistance to El Monte workers through the following practice areas:
- Hostile work environment
- Severance agreements, terms, and enforcement
- Sexual harassment
- Wage and hour cases, including overtime pay discrepancy claims
- Wrongful termination, including retaliation cases, including whistleblower claims
Every California employee deserves a workplace free of unlawful activity, harassment or bias. It does not matter what kind of unlawful conduct you are facing, our wrongful termination attorneys can hold your employer responsible and help remove you from such a difficult position.
What Are My Rights Against Sexual Harassment at Work?
California’s anti-discrimination and harassment laws were created to ensure that everyone has access to an equitable, fair and safe workplace. You should be able to go to work without wondering what new derogatory comments you will face or what new injustice you will be confronted with. Your rights against sexual harassment include freedom from:
- Intimidation and threats
- Ridicule and inappropriate jokes
- Obscene comments
- Unwanted sexual advances, including physical or in form of speech or text
- Inappropriate cartoons or gestures
- Any other conduct that is directed to offend you, make you uncomfortable at work or “put you in your place”
Keep in mind that isolated instances of this conduct may not be enough to file a complaint. The Fair Employment and Housing Act requires instances of sexual harassment to be severe or pervasive. This means it should be serious enough to make it difficult to do your work or create an abusive work environment. Kelly-Zurian v. Wohl Shoe Co., Inc. (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 397, 409 [27 Cal.Rptr.2d 457].
But this does not mean that a single instance of sexual harassment cannot not qualify. If you were a victim of direct molestation or prolonged sexual abuse at work, you may be able to file a complaint.
If you have been exposed to conduct of this nature, you have a right to file a complaint and receive compensation for the harm you have suffered.
When Can My Employer Be Liable for Failure to Prevent Sexual Harassment?
Employers are expected to be on top of what happens at work. They should maintain conditions of work that are safe, fair and inclusive. When they fail to do this, especially with regard to sexual harassment, they may be liable in some circumstances.
Under FEHA, an employer may be held responsible for failure to prevent sexual harassment in two main instances.
The first is when the sexual harassment was the result of a supervisor’s conduct. In this situation, the employer would be strictly liable for the harassing conduct. This means that all you have to do is show that the unlawful conduct happened for your employer to be held responsible. State Dept. of Health Services v. Superior Court (2003) 31 Cal. 4th 1026, 1040–1041 [6 Cal. Rptr. 3d 441, 79 P.3d 556].
The second is when the harassment was caused by a non-supervisory employee. In this situation, your employer can be held responsible, but only if it is clear that they knew about the conduct or should have known about it. Filing a report of the harassment without action on the part of your employer shows they knew and failed to act.
Apart from this, showing your employer knew about the sexual harassment would require pointing out circumstances that establish this knowledge. Our El Monte sexual harassment attorney at Eldessouky Law can help you understand your rights and how to prove your case.
Contact Eldessouky Law to Understand Your Rights
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment in a California workplace, schedule a free consultation with our El Monte sexual harassment attorney today. Call us at 714-409-8991 to fight for your rights today.