Q: Are there laws protecting me from sexual harassment in the workplace?
A: Pursuant to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers are required to ensure that all of their employers do not experience harassment in the workplace.
Q: Who are protected by the laws from sexual harassment?
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and California FEHA, employees who are heterosexual, homosexual, and transgender are protected from harassment in employment.
Q: What are the types of harassment in the workplace?
In legal sense, there are two types of harassment in the workplace: “quid pro quo” (this for that) and “hostile working environment”.
Q: What are the differences between these two?
A: “Quid pro quo” is a type of workplace harassment wherein the employee is offered “gifts” like promotion, salary raise, or even money in exchange of sexual favors. The harasser may also threaten the employee with termination or demotion if the sexual favors are not granted. Meanwhile, “hostile working environment” type of harassment happens when the victim is experiencing harassment through verbal and/or physical sexual advances. This type of harassment makes the workplace hostile for the victim thus the name.
Q: What should I do if I am a victim of harassment in the workplace?
A: The first thing you would want to do is to have solid pieces of evidence proving your claim. You may have a copy of sexually-charged messages from your harasser. After collecting evidence, the most important thing to do is to consult with a legal professional who specializes in handling sexual harassment in workplace cases. Your chosen attorney will be the one help you file a claim and ensure that your harasser will be brought into justice.