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Hawthorne Sexual Harassment

Hawthorne Lawyers Helping Employees

Located in Los Angeles County, Hawthorne is a 6.1 square mile city with an estimated population of 86,068 as of 2019. The median household income in Hawthorne was $44,649. The original members of the Beach Boys grew up in Hawthorne. Businesses situated in Hawthorne include The Boring Company, OSI Systems, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX. If you work in the area and were subjected to unwelcome advances, speech or touching because of your gender, you should consult with a Hawthorne sexual harassment attorney at Calderone Law Firm.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), along with federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment does not need not be motivated by sexual desire to be actionable. Further, the harassing conduct does not have to imply or express anything sexual. Harassment includes any hostile behavior directed at you because of your sex or gender. Sexual harassment may involve harassing someone of the same gender as the perpetrator irrespective of the perpetrator’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

FEHA

Under FEHA, unwelcome sexual advances, sexual gestures, leering, memes, cartoons, posters, jokes, slurs, pranks, graphic remarks, suggestive messages, physical touching or assault may all constitute sexual harassment. For example, if your boss repeatedly touches you and sends you pornography, his behavior is actionable as sexual harassment. Consult with a sexual harassment attorney in Hawthorne to discuss whether unwelcome behavior in your workplace is considered sexual harassment. Although FEHA usually applies to workplaces with at least 5 employees, harassment based on a protected characteristic such as sex is prohibited in workplaces of all sizes.

Courts usually categorize sexual harassment as quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment harassment, though in some cases, the harassment is a blend of these types. Quid pro quo harassment occurs if a superior in your workplace conditions a job benefit on you submitting to sexual advances. A hostile work environment exists if unwelcome harassing behavior based on your sex is so severe or so pervasive, it creates an offensive, intimidating or hostile work environment. Hostile work environment harassment can be perpetrated by a manager, supervisor, coworker, customer, or client. For example, if your coworkers repeatedly send you sexually suggestive memes and they corner you at the office holiday party to assault you, this is likely hostile work environment harassment.

The totality of circumstances will determine whether a hostile work environment exists. An experienced Hawthorne sexual harassment lawyer can explain how the sexually objectionable environment needs to be both subjectively and objectively offensive. You may not prevail if you subjectively perceive your workplace as hostile based on sex when a reasonable person would not perceive the situation in the same way considering all the circumstances.

Damages

If you sue for sexual harassment, you may be able to recover damages. Under FEHA, damages may include compensation for emotional distress, back pay, reinstatement, and alterations to the employer’s practices or policies. Back pay includes any money — whether lost wages, salary or benefits — you would have earned had no harassment occurred. They are measured from the time of harassment to the trial date.

The court may order injunctive relief in the form of reinstatement. However, the relationship between you and your employer may be too damaged for your reinstatement to be productive. In that case, you may be eligible for front pay, which is money awarded for lost compensation between the time of judgment and reinstatement. If your employer was guilty of malice, fraud, or oppression in connection with the sexual harassment, you may be able to get punitive damages.

Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also forbids sexual harassment. However, it only applies to employers that have at least 15 employees. Unlike FEHA, it caps damages based on the size of the employer. However, there may be nuances to the facts of your case that make it advisable to pursue damages under Title VII. It’s important to consult an experienced employment attorney who can let you know what would be best based on your particular circumstances.

Consult a Seasoned Hawthorne Attorney

Sexual harassment can have devastating economic and emotional consequences. Often, victims may feel degraded and concerned about how bringing a claim may affect their future employment prospects. If a supervisor or co-worker sexually harassed you, consult with a seasoned sexual harassment lawyer in Hawthorne. At the Calderone Law Firm, we serve clients in El Segundo, Torrance and Los Angeles, as well as in Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. We may be able to counsel and represent you. Please call our firm at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.