Both Federal and California state law prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Under both laws, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination, and is recognized as taking one of two forms: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
“Quid pro quo” harassment is where an employer conditions a job benefit (promotion, raise, or receiving a favorable performance review) upon sexual favors. In order to establish quid pro quo sexual harassment, a Los Angeles employee must show: (1) that they were subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, conduct, or comments, by a supervisor with authority over them, and (2) the employee’s reaction to the harassment affected the employees compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment – meaning, for example, that an employee refused their supervisor’s advances and, as a result, the employee was demoted.
“Hostile environment” sexual harassment is where the sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an employees work performance or creates an intimidating or offensive work environment. In order to establish hostile environment sexual harassment, a Los Angeles employee must show: (1) they were subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, conduct, or comments based on their sex, and (2) that the harassment was so severe or pervasive as to create an abusive work environment.
If you have been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace, we can help. In order to evaluate your individual situation and determine the appropriate legal remedies, contact our office for a free consultation.