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Sexual Harassment

Oakland, CA Sexual Harassment Lawyer Helps You Seek Justice

Holding employers accountable for degrading behavior

When you are sexually harassed, you need someone on your side. I have represented unlawfully harassed women and men for over 30 years. I know how destructive workplace harassment can be because I have seen the damage it causes. Women and men who are being harassed have difficult decisions to make. They want the harassment to stop. They are afraid if they complain they will be harassed more or eventually fired. At some point, they just can’t take it anymore. When you reach that point, you can trust the Law Offices of Phil Horowitz to be your advocate and to seek justice.

A Rosie the Riveter mural on an abandoned building, portraying a World War II icon of women at work

Oakland employment lawyer explains sexual harassment law

There are many types of unlawful harassment. The first type most people think of is harassment of a sexual nature, including unwanted advances and comments about sex. Sexual harassment falls into two main categories:

  • Quid pro quo harassment — In this situation, a superior makes unwanted advances towards a subordinate and either rewards or punishes the worker according to the worker’s response. Quid quo pro harassment can be straight or gay. But, importantly, there must be an inequality of power between the two parties, and the advances must be unwelcome.
  • Hostile work environment — If you can’t stand to come to work because of a relentless atmosphere of sexually charged language and conduct, you may have a case of hostile work environment sexual harassment. The keys here are that the activity must be unwelcome (not just off-color banter going back and forth) and so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would find it more difficult to focus on work tasks.

If you have been sexually harassed, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings and your emotional distress. If you were forced to quit your job, you could have a case of wrongful termination. If you were discharged or punished in any way for filing a sexual harassment complaint, you could also assert a claim of unlawful retaliation.

Other types of unlawful harassment in the workplace

Harassment does not need to be sexual to be against the law. Also unlawful is harassment of an employee because she is a woman. Disrespectful treatment, unwarranted criticism and discipline, double standards, and demeaning words are some of the many ways that women are harassed in the workplace.

Harassment because of race, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristic is also against the law. I have fought for many employees who complained about harassment because of all sorts of unlawful motives.

One of those cases, in which I represented a Muslim employee who said he was harassed because of his religion, resulted in an important published Court of Appeal decision, Nazir v. United Airlines, Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243.

Contact a dedicated employment attorney in Oakland for your sexual harassment claim

When you are harassed at work or are fired for trying to stop workplace harassment, you need someone on your side. Call 415-391-0111or e-mail me today.