Unfortunately, many workers in California suffer sexual harassment on a regular basis. It can be difficult to take the step to report harassment, especially when it is coming from a supervisor. It may help the matter somewhat if you can recognize the specific type of sexual harassment you are experiencing. According to HR Daily Advisor, there are two types of harassment, and though the effects are similar, the methods involved are significantly different.
A hostile work environment involves frequent, pervasive and unwelcome conduct in the workplace of a sexual nature. This may take the form of unwanted interactions, sexual jokes, displays of offensive or inappropriate materials, etc. An employee at any level can create a hostile work environment, which can have a negative effect on even those not targeted or targeted indirectly. In other words, you may feel uncomfortable as the result of sexual jokes/comments or inappropriate displays directed at one or more other coworkers.
The other type of sexual harassment that can occur in the workplace is quid pro quo sexual harassment. For this type to take place, your harasser must be a position of authority over you as a boss or supervisor. The harassment consists of promises of promotions, raises or other employment benefits in exchange for your submission to sexual demands. Conversely, the harasser may threaten you with loss of benefits if you do not comply with his or her requests for sexual contact.
To establish that a hostile work environment has formed in your workplace, you must be able to point to a persistent pattern of behavior rather than an isolated incident. However, you have sufficient grounds for a lawsuit after only one episode of quid pro quo harassment.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.