Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton
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Is it flirting or sexual harassment?

It is often one of the hardest questions to answer: Is a coworker or boss sexually harassing you, or is it just a harmless joke? The answer might be simpler than you think, once you understand the law.

Unfortunately, proving whether you were a victim of harassment might be more difficult than realizing that it happened. Any civil strategies you were to pursue would likely only come to fruition after careful investigation and gathering of evidence. Even with plenty of examples to support your claim, you might find yourself without a convincing argument if you lacked knowledge of the history of similar cases in California.

One of the reasons that you could find it hard to argue a case of sexual harassment — and one reason that those accused often defend themselves so vehemently — is that many offenders apparently do not understand the most basic nature of their injurious actions. Fortunately, your abuser's ignorance would not typically form a valid defense against substantiated claims of harassment.

You may have come across this lack of understanding before in your own experience. Know that you are not alone. In fact, the New York Times ran an article about people who were confused as to what constitutes sexual harassment. You are probably familiar with some of the solutions suggested in the article, such as encouraging incident reporting and reducing drinking during office parties. 

One minor event of someone being lewd or inappropriate to you would probably not form the grounds for a successful lawsuit. On the other hand, an ignorant offender denying your claims of repeated or flagrant sexual harassment does not affect the truthfulness of your allegations. This is not intended as legal advice. Please read it only as basic information.

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