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San Bernardino Sexual Harassment

Whether at work or home, every person is entitled to feel safe and respected. Sexual harassment can take place in a company of any size, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses. If you are being sexually harassed, you do not have to tolerate this type behavior; you have the right to report this activity.


Two Types of Sexual Harassment

California law recognized two distinct types of sexual harassment in the workplace. Both of these are inappropriate and should be addressed before things get out of hand. On the state level, California has adopted the Fair Employment and Housing Act which explicitly prohibits sexual harassment. On the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex unlawful.

There are two categories of sexual harassment: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment.

Quid pro quo harassment - when sexual favors are demanded by a superior as a condition for benefits or employment.

Hostile work environment - when a superior knowingly allows hostile, intimidating or offensive behavior based on sex to continue to the point where it adversely affects the employee’s ability to work.

Sexual harassment also includes harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.


Who Gets Harassed

While women are more likely to be harassed in the workplace, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, men accounted for 16.1% of sexual harassment reports and this statistic is growing each year.


What Harassment Looks Like

Sexual harassment in any form is a serious matter and should be dealt with accordingly and in a timely manner. Any form of sexual harassment is inappropriate no matter the form, scale or perpetrator. Harassment can take many forms; it can be verbal or physical.


Verbal Harassment

Verbal harassment many times happens in passing; coworkers make snide remarks or derogatory comments. Although this type of harassment does not have a physical component that does not mean it is something that should just be accepted and dealt with. This type of conduct can cause severe emotional and psychological damage. Verbal harassment may include:

  • Verbal misconduct, such as derogatory comments, jokes or slurs
  • Verbal sexual advances or propositions
  • Demanding sexual favors in exchange for a raise or promotion
  • Graphic verbal commentaries regarding one’s gender, body, or sexual orientation


Physical Harassment

Physical harassment is perhaps the most obvious to spot. This type of harassment includes physical advances from others. Physical harassment is perhaps the most dangerous type of harassment as it could easily lead to more serious physical assault. Physical harassment should always be reported to appropriate authorities within your employer. This type of harassment can include:

  • Unwanted physical sexual advances or touching
  • Impeding or blocking free movement
  • Physical assault


Other Harassment

There are many forms of harassment that are neither verbal nor physical. Sadly technology has the ability to aid in sexual harassment. While harassment may not take place in a verbal or physical manner, this does not make the threat any less real. These other types of harassment can include, but are not limited to:

  • Transmitting, displaying or posting sexual emails or pictures
  • Playing of sexually suggestive music or videos

For a sexual harassment or employment attorney, check out local attorney profiles here.

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