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Sexual harassment is a pervasive and damaging problem in the workplace, affecting individuals of all genders, ages, races, and job positions. Victims of sexual harassment may feel intimidated, violated, and powerless, leading to psychological distress, physical illness, and career setbacks. As a law firm with extensive experience representing sexual harassment victims in both state and federal court, we understand the devastating impact of sexual harassment and are committed to advocating for our clients' rights and pursuing justice.
What is the Legal Definition of Sexual Harassment?
Under California law, sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual's employment,
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual, or
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Statistics Regarding Sexual Harassment in California
A recent report from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) reveals alarming statistics about the prevalence of sexual harassment in California. According to the report, in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the DFEH received 2,144 sexual harassment complaints, representing a 15% increase from the previous year. The majority of the complaints (63%) were filed by women, while 31% were filed by men, and 6% were filed by non-binary individuals. The DFEH report also made the following noteworthy findings:
Sexual harassment occurs across a wide range of industries. The top three industries with the most complaints were accommodation and food services, retail trade, and healthcare and social assistance.
A significant percentage of sexual harassment complaints involve retaliation. In many cases, victims who report sexual harassment or discrimination face retaliation from their employers, such as being demoted, fired, or subjected to other forms of mistreatment. In fact, retaliation was cited in 42% of the sexual harassment complaints filed with the DFEH in 2019-2020.
Sexual harassment has a significant impact on victims' mental health and well-being. For example, in 62% of the sexual harassment complaints filed with the DFEH, the victim reported experiencing emotional distress as a result of the harassment.
It is clear from these statistics that sexual harassment continues to be a serious problem in California workplaces.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can take many forms in the workplace, including:
• Unwanted sexual advances, such as asking for sexual favors or making sexual comments
• Physical touching, such as hugging, kissing, or groping
• Verbal harassment, such as making sexual comments or telling sexual jokes
• Displaying sexually suggestive images or materials
• Using power or authority to make unwanted sexual advances or demands
• Creating a hostile work environment through sexual comments or behavior
What Damages Can a Sexual Harassment Victim Recover Through a Lawsuit?
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. The specific damages that are recoverable will depend on the facts of your case, but may include:
• Compensation for lost wages and benefits
• Compensation for emotional distress and other psychological harm
• Punitive damages to punish the harasser and deter others from engaging in similar behavior
• Attorney's fees and costs
Why Hire Philips & Associates as Your Sexual Harassment Attorneys
If you are the victim of sexual harassment, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced sexual harassment law firm. Philips & Associates has been handling sexual harassment lawsuits for more than a decade and has a track record of extremely favorable outcomes in such cases.
When you retain Philips & Associates for your sexual harassment case, we will help you understand your rights and options, gather evidence to support your case, and negotiate with your employer to potentially reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will represent you in court and take your case to trial if necessary. We always offer free consultations and we handle all of our sexual harassment cases on a pure contingency fee basis, which means there is no up front fee for our services and no legal fee if there isn't a recovery in your case.
Los Angeles Office
5850 Canoga Ave., Ste. 400
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
San Diego Office
990 Highland Dr. Ste. 212-D
Solana Beach, CA 92075
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