Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Having given a brief summary of the different types of sexual harassment recognized under California law, Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney firm California Legal Team will now take a closer look at hostile work environment sexual harassment.
To begin lets recap on what defines hostile work environment sexual harassment:
This type of sexual harassment occurs when one or more employees are made to endure or are exposed to a pattern of unwanted sexual behavior from other colleagues within the work place, and where their superiors (supervisors or managers) take no action in preventing or stopping the unwanted sexual behavior. Should the unwanted sexual behavior negatively affect the psychological well-being of another employee or hinder their ability to perform their job properly the behavior will fall under hostile work environment sexual harassment. It is important to remember that hostile work environment sexual harassment is distinguished from quid pro quo sexual harassment, which requires the seeking of sexual favors by a superior over a subordinate (for example threatening to lay someone off, or promising them a promotion in return for a sexual favor).
Examples of hostile work environment harassment include:
- Verbal Abuse and Touching
- Coerced Sexual Behavior: including following someone into a restroom and exposing yourself to coworkers
- Offensive Sexual References, Vulgar Slurs and Foul Language
- Sex Based Nicknames
- Rude and Inappropriate Behavior
- Displaying of Sexual Centerfolds, Sexually Offensive Artwork or Pornographic Pictures
- Threatening or Suggestive Stares
- Unwelcome Repeated Requests for Sex or Dates
- Inappropriate Body Language, Actions or Touching: This includes winking and hair touching
When it comes to hostile work environment sexual harassment, Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys need to assess the legality of the alleged behavior on a case-by-case basis. In a claim of hostile work environment sexual harassment your Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney will need to show that the working conditions that the victim endured affected their employment in a sufficiently severe or pervasive way so much so that it negatively altered the environment toward an abusive working atmosphere. It is important to note that the behavior must be considered frequent, severe (extremely offensive and abominable) and pervasive (filters through the workplace and alters the working environment).
In order for a case for hostile work environment sexual harassment to be successful, your Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney would need to prove these five elements:
- The victim has suffered intentional, unwanted discrimination owing to his or her gender
- The conduct contributing to harassment was severe or pervasive
- The conduct negatively influenced the work environment
- Such conduct would negatively affect any reasonable person of the same sex
- Although management should have know or actually did know about the harassment, nothing was done to stop it
It is crucial to remember that each case is different and it will depend on the specifics of your case whether or not your Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney will be able to successfully support you.
Another important point to remember is that it is incredibly difficult and far less likely to prove hostile work environment sexual harassment based on a single incident. However, it is not impossible. If you have been party to a single incident of hostile work environment sexual harassment, that incident needs to be extremely harsh (such as offensive touching or threatening behavior) in order for it to meet the sufficiently severe or pervasive standard. If you are concerned about hostile work environment sexual harassment and would like some more information of help contact our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney at California Legal Team today!