Unlawful harassment can, but does not have to be, of a sexual nature. Harassment can be based on race, sexual orientation, gender, physical or mental disability, or any other protected characteristic. The harassment can be from a boss, supervisor, co-worker, customers, or from multiple sources. There are two primary types of compensable harassment claims in California.
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment.
- Hostile Work Environment Harassment
- One requirement for a Hostile Work Environment Claim based on sexual harassment is that the sexual advances were “unwelcome.” Therefore, in order to prove the claim in court it is necessary to present evidence to demonstrate that the conduct was unwelcome. If you are being harassed, you can call the Clayton Perry Law Office For Injured Workers for a free consultation. You will probably be advised to complain about conduct in writing to the harasser and then if there is no response to the higher-ups in the company. However, if it would be futile to complain to the harasser you can go directly to the higher-ups that are responsible for supervising your supervisor.
“Quid pro quo” is Latin for “this for that.” A claim for quid pro quo harassment arises when an employee is promised and/or threatened in order to coerce the employee into providing someone with sexual gratification. The employee can either be promised an employment benefit, such as a promotion, a job, better wages, hours, working conditions, etc. and/or threatened with termination, a demotion, a pay cut, less desirable hours, job duties, etc. The promise and/or threat can be either expressed or implied. If an employee complies with their employer’s sexual demands that does not mean that the case is destroyed; the case can still be brought. If you can prove that you have been treated like this at work you then you have a compensable claim for Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment.
A claim for Hostile Work Environment Harassment arises when an employee is subjected to “severe and pervasive” harassment at work. This harassment can be, but does not have to be, of a sexual nature. It can also be based on sexual orientation, race, gender, physical or mental disability, or any other protected characteristic. Although the employee has to prove that the harassing conduct was “pervasive”, proof of a single incident of harassment can be sufficient if the single incident was egregious enough.
For Hostile Work Environment Claims that are not sexual in nature it is not necessary to prove that the harassing conduct was unwelcome.