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Types of Sexual Harassment in the Los Angeles Workplace

November 23, 2022 General

Sexual harassment in any form should not be tolerated in the workplace on any level. Unfortunately, it remains an issue for many employees and can sometimes be difficult to identify. Understanding the types of sexual harassment can be helpful in determining whether you have a claim. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, an experienced employment lawyer can review your case and help you find a way forward. 

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment 

“Quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase that means “something for something” and is used to describe an exchange of favors. In the context of sexual harassment, it refers to a situation where an employee is offered an employment benefit such as a promotion or a valuable opportunity in exchange for sexual favors. It would also apply in situations where the employee could avoid termination, demotion, or some other negative consequence in exchange for a sexual favor. 

While this type of sexual harassment is often the most overt, it is important to understand that it can also be more subtle. The exchange of favors may be implied rather than explicitly stated. An experienced employment lawyer will be able to determine whether you have been the target of quid pro quo sexual harassment. 

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

Whereas quid pro quo sexual harassment claims involve a single incident or proposition, sexual harassment claims involving a hostile work environment involve a recurring and pervasive pattern or behavior that creates an environment that is hostile, demeaning, or intimidating. A hostile work environment can be the result of the following: 

  • Inappropriate jokes or comments;
  • Unwelcome touching or advances; and
  • Displaying inappropriate or lewd photographs or objects.

If you have been subjected to repeated inappropriate behavior that makes it difficult to do your job, you should speak with an employment lawyer about whether you might have a claim. 

Client or Customer Sexual Harassment

A common misconception is that sexual harassment laws apply only to harassment among employers or employees. Fortunately, this is not the case – under the law, employers are required to protect their employees from harassment from any source. As a result, you may have a claim even if your harasser is a customer or a client. 

Proving Your Sexual Harassment Case

Whether you are the victim of quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment, proving your claim will require evidence that can be difficult to collect. Of course, the more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. Emails, text messages, videos, or photographs detailing the harassment can be powerful evidence to support your claim, as can testimony from eyewitnesses. An experienced employment lawyer can identify the evidence you will need and then help you collect it. 

Contact Attorneys for Employees if You Have Been Sexually Harassed

No one should have to tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace. To discuss your situation and your rights, contact us today by calling 310-601-1330 to schedule a confidential consultation.