Know Your Rights. Fight for Justice.
Over 300,000 sexual harassment claims since 1997 have been filed, according to studies by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But since victims are afraid or unsure if they can speak out, this number doesn’t reflect the number of sexual harassment incidents over these years, which is why we want to help victims understand how to identify sexual harassment.
At the Law Offices of Stephen B. Morris, our caring Southern California lawyers have helped countless victims find their voices, and we’re ready to do the same for you. With three convenient locations in San Diego, Irvine, and Orange County, CA, our attorneys can help.
Warning Signs of Sexual Harassment
Sometimes the warning signs of sexual harassment are blatant: a demand for sex in exchange for promotion or good grades. Other times it’s more subtle, like a pattern of uncomfortable comments, inappropriate jokes, unwanted touching, or under-the-table pressures. The bottom line is if you’re uncomfortable, it may be harassment.
To you, it’s a big deal, but the perpetrator may brush it off as nothing. They might even try to pin the blame on you since they’re in a position of authority. Meanwhile, you’re feeling increasingly stuck, hopeless, and helpless. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone, and you’re not powerless. Our San Diego harassment attorneys are on your side to give you the justice you deserve.
Types of Sexual Harassment
So when does inappropriate behavior cross the line into illegal harassment? In general, there are two main types of sexual harassment:
- Pressure for sexual favors — Also called quid pro quo harassment, this is never okay in the workplace or classroom, especially not by an employer or college faculty member.
- A hostile environment — Creating an unwelcoming work or classroom environment is a form of ongoing harassment. It typically involves a pattern of offensive conduct such as sexist comments, lewd images or emails, inappropriate advances, or sexual humor. Even if these behaviors aren’t at you, you still have the right to a discrimination-free workplace and may have a legal claim.
Both types of sexual harassment are dehumanizing and degrading. You should never have to endure harassment at work, school, or elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
Victims may go back and forth on whether the harassment they face qualifies as sexual harassment, or they may be gaslit into thinking the behavior isn’t inappropriate. Any unwelcome verbal, written, or physical advancements are considered sexual harassment, and you’re entitled to justice.
Behavior is qualified as sexual harassment if the perpetrator:
- Flirts with you despite being turned down
- Touches you without your consent
- Makes sexist or inappropriate comments
- Shares personal information you didn’t ask for
- Engages in inappropriate behavior in an online setting
The first thing to do when harassed at work or school is not to blame yourself. Accepting what happened and acknowledging you’re a victim can help through the recovery period. You should consult a sexual harassment attorney in your area to review the next steps toward receiving justice.