Help With Sexual Harassment Claims
Sexual harassment has been prohibited in the workplace for decades. Nevertheless, it still happens every day in businesses across California. If you have suffered sexual harassment, we can help. The sooner you speak to us, the sooner we can develop a strategy to stop the harassment, protect your rights and your job.
These can be challenging cases, but our attorney at The Law Office of Terry J. Chapko, has been representing clients with difficult employment law issues since 2004. We have the experience you need to deal with these issues.
California’s Sexual Harassment Procedures
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) defines sexual harassment to includes unwelcome sexual advances; verbal, visual or physical conduct that is sexual; or intimidation, hostility or offensive behavior based on someone’s sex.
The process for making a claim includes:
- Documenting the details of the incident or incidents: communication, notes, times and dates and witness names.
- Reporting it to your employer and following their internal procedures.
- Filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Federal Laws Governing Sexual Harassment Claims
There are multiple federal employment laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. They include:
Title VII: prohibits discrimination based on their color, national origin, race, religion or sex. It applies to an employer if they have 15 or more employees (or they are a federal, state or local governmental agency).
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978: Prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Companies with fewer than 15 employees are exempt.
EEOC guidelines: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal agency that is responsible for enforcing many of these discrimination laws and has issued guidelines to help determine when unwelcome conduct that is sexual in nature becomes sexual harassment. The EEOC’s investigation of a sexual harassment claim includes the following steps:
- Determining whether sexual conduct is “unwelcome”;
- evaluating evidence of harassment;
- determining whether a work environment is sexually “hostile”;
- holding employers liable for sexual harassment by supervisors; and
- evaluating preventive and remedial action taken in response to claims of sexual harassment.
This process is complex and involves requirements based on legislation, agency rulemaking and court interpretation. Our attorney can help you understand these steps and guide you during this process.
Recent California Legislation
Assembly Bill 9 extends the time workers have to file sexual harassment complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The limitations period for filing sexual harassment claims has increased from one year to three years.
A second new law ends forced arbitration. Before this law was enacted, employers could require workers to waive their right sue in court on labor disputes as a condition of employment.
Contact Us For Help With Your Sex Harassment Claim
These cases are complex. Our attorney understands the laws, the notice requirements, deadlines and filing time limits and has worked with these issues for more than 25 years. Call our Coronado office at 619-522-2100, or email us here to schedule your initial consultation.