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Santa Monica Sexual Harassment

Santa Monica Lawyer Helping Employees Assert Their Rights

Santa Monica is a city located on a beachfront in Los Angeles County. It was a famous resort town in the early 1900s. Today, it is home to major businesses like Lionsgate Films, RAND Corporation, Universal Music Group, Hulu, Miramax, and Illumination Entertainment. If you were sexually harassed on the job in Santa Monica, you may be able to sue for damages under federal or state laws. If you believe you may have a claim, it is advisable to talk to a knowledgeable Santa Monica sexual harassment attorney about your situation. The Calderone Law Firm has represented numerous employees seeking to protect their rights, and may be able to help you.

Santa Monica Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual conduct or remarks about sex based on the victim's sex. Although we often associate sexual harassment with men victimizing women, the victim can be of either sex and so can the harasser. Sometimes sexual harassment involves a harasser and victim of the same sex, and you do not need to establish the sexual orientation of the harasser to be able to recover damages if you are able to show workplace sexual harassment.

In California, you can sue for damages if you are subject to quid pro quo harassment. This occurs when a supervisor or a manager tries to obtain sexual favors by implicitly or explicitly promising job favors or continued employment. Only authority figures in the workplace can perpetrate this kind of harassment. Hostile work environment, on the other hand, can be perpetrated by anybody in the workplace including clients, customers, coworkers, supervisors, and managers. This type of harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, physical acts, or comments that are either severe or pervasive. They must be such that a reasonable person would find they created a hostile work environment. A trivial event will not qualify for this type of harassment. For example, if your coworker keeps touching you inappropriately, and your manager says that it can't do anything because the coworker is a top performer, you would likely have a claim for hostile work environment harassment. An attorney skilled in sexual harassment claims in Santa Monica can evaluate whether the facts of your case to determine whether it is likely to meet these legal standards.

Federal Law

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is prohibited as a form of sex discrimination. Title VII only applies to employers with at least 15 employees. Additionally, there are caps on compensatory and punitive damages based on the size of the employer. State law protects more people because it applies to smaller employers.

State Law

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the state law that prohibits workplace sexual harassment in Santa Monica. Both quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment are prohibited. Importantly, FEHA covers smaller employers. In order to fall under FEHA, your employer needs to have a minimum of 5 employees.

Under state law, sexual harassment can include many different types of offensive conduct and words. It can include derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, jokes, verbal abuse, touching, assault, stopping someone from coming or going, leering, displaying sexual memes or posters, providing benefits for sexual favors, or threatening retaliation after being spurned sexually.

Damages for Sexual Harassment Under FEHA

If you can establish liability for sexual harassment, you may be entitled to compensatory damages, emotional distress damages, injunctive relief, and even punitive damages, and a seasoned Santa Monica sexual harassment lawyer can help you pursue them. Unlike under Title VII, there isn't a cap on damages based on employer size. Compensatory damages is a category of damages involving the financial harms of sexual harassment such as back pay, benefits, medical expenses, or front pay. Sometimes reinstatement is ordered rather than front pay, but this can be tricky because the relationship between employer and employee may be too damaged to allow for a productive working relationship. Injunctive relief is an order that stops the employer from acting in certain ways or requires the employer to take action, such as correcting illegal practices. Emotional distress damages are meant to provide compensation for mental anguish and trauma associated with sexual harassment. Punitive damages are only awarded where harassment is truly egregious; these damages are intended to both punish and deter.

Hire an Experienced Employment Law Attorney in Santa Monica

If you have faced employment discrimination or harassment in Santa Monica, a tough, skillful trial attorney at The Calderone Law Firm may be able provide the aggressive representation you need to recover damages. Call us at (424) 348-8290 or contact us through our online form to discuss your case.