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What Steps Can You Take to Address Sexual Harassment at Work?

by Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP
March 08, 2024

As sexual harassment in the workplace becomes more visible, employees are beginning to gain more power in calling out inappropriate behavior. That does not mean that the process for doing so is always simple. 

In most workplaces, there are policies in place for addressing workplace harassment. These steps can help you find your footing in a sexual harassment situation but they might not always be successful in eliminating the problem. This is why it is critical that you know how best to address sexual harassment at work. Addressing inappropriate behavior is a crucial step towards fostering a safe and respectful environment not only for you but for all employees. 

Understanding Sexual Harassment Claims

Sexual harassment cases are nuances and can seem subjective. Navigating these challenges can feel daunting if you go at it alone. California's laws regarding sexual harassment are robust, and understanding the more intricate details can be essential when bringing attention to inappropriate behavior. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing sexual harassment in your workplace legal representation could be the best next step. At Levin & Nalbandyan our experienced attorneys are here to provide the guidance you need to take action. Give us a call today for a confidential consultation to discuss your case. 

What Qualifies as Sexual Harassment?

In California, sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of behaviors that create a hostile or offensive work environment. This can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual displays. Other actions such as inappropriate comments, jokes, or gestures of a sexual nature can also constitute sexual harassment, regardless of whether they were intended to be harmless or not. 

It is important to keep in mind that sexual harassment is not exclusive to co-workers–sexual harassment can be any sort of inappropriate behavior by supervisors, managers, clients, or even customers in the workplace. 

Steps in Addressing Sexual Harassment

Addressing sexual harassment in the workplace often requires a systematic approach to protect your rights and safety. If you are the victim of inappropriate behavior in the workplace here are some steps you can take to address the situation.

Report the Incidences

If you are being harassed at work the first thing you should do is make the situation known. Document each occurance and report it to the proper department. If a co-worker is making lewd comments directed at you, for example, you might write down what he is saying and discuss the problem with your supervisor or HR representative. 

Reject Their Advances

If possible and safe, you should clearly and firmly communicate to your harasser that their behavior is unwelcome and ask them to stop immediately. There are some circumstances where this step is not safe or prudent. Do not put yourself or your job at risk by confronting a volatile individual and risking retribution. 

If you fear your safety or job security, it is crucial that you seek outside support before you make any moves against your harasser. 

Cooperate with Any Investigations

If your employer initiates an investigation into your complaint, it is vital that you cooperate fully. Provide any necessary documentation or evidence that you have and be prepared to relay detailed accounts of the harassment you experienced. 

Harassment can be hurtful, personal, and embarrassing but don’t let your pride keep you from telling the whole story. Going into an investigation with complete transparency will help your employer take the necessary steps to end your workplace harassment.

Protect Yourself

Prioritize your safety and well-being above all else. If you feel threatened or endangered by a coworker, manager, or customer's behavior, you should take any steps possible to remove yourself from the situation and ask for support.

If you have been threatened or are afraid of physical retaliation, do not hesitate to contact the authorities. If you work in a building with security, notify the security team of the threat. Otherwise report any threats or threatening behavior to law enforcement immediately.

Know Your Rights

As an employee, you are protected under California state law and federal law from workplace harassment. If your employer is unwilling to take action, you have a right to seek legal counsel. An experienced employment lawyer can help you seek the justice you deserve.

Remember that you are not alone, and there are resources and support available to help you navigate the process of addressing these issues.  

Your Right to Legal Intervention

Victims of sexual harassment have full legal recourse to seek guidance from a professional. Employment Law covers many different workplace injustices, including sexual harassment and an experienced attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. 

Trust Levin & Nalbandyan Trial Lawyers With Your Case

At Levin & Nalbandyan we are dedicated to advocating for victims of sexual harassment. If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your options and take action to address the situation.

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