The #MeToo movement shows that sexual harassment is now one of the leading issues experienced in U.S. workplaces. California law defines two different types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
With quid pro quo, a supervisor may ask you to perform sexual favors in return for certain workplace benefits, such as a raise. Quid pro quo means “this for that.” In the case of a hostile work environment, sexual harassment becomes so pervasive and frequent that affected workers no longer feel safe at their jobs. Both types of harassment can lead to sexual assault, the worst-case scenario.
There are steps you can take after experiencing sexual assault in or outside of the workplace. Below, we list steps that may help prepare your situation for a complaint or lawsuit.
Step 1: Contact Law Enforcement and Seek Medical Attention
Being sexually assaulted in the workplace is a serious crime that must be investigated right away. Your first step should be to contact the authorities and report the crime. After reporting the assault, police will start an investigation to recover any available evidence. You can protect evidence by filing a report earlier rather than later.
You may also need to seek medical attention after a workplace sexual assault. This can also help establish evidence that is crucial to ensuring the perpetrator is convicted for the crime.
Evidence of a crime can also help with a future lawsuit against your employer or the party responsible for your assault. This may be true even if there is no conviction.
Step 2: Write Down What Happened
You should write down what happened as soon as possible. If you are unable to write down specifics about the crime, then you can tell a family member or close friend to help record any relevant information. By writing down what happened, you can help police investigating the crime and may establish additional evidence for a future lawsuit.
You can also record instances of prior sexual harassment. If you have text messages, emails and voicemails, these may also be useful for police or an attorney who is representing you in a lawsuit.
Step 3: Speak With a California Employment Law Attorney
You may need help filing a sexual harassment claim with state or federal employment agencies. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing investigate claims of sexual harassment. Your attorney can also help you determine if is necessary to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages. In addition, an attorney can help you preserve and uncover new evidence that may help your claim or lawsuit.
What Is Workplace Sexual Assault?
The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women has a very clear definition of sexual assault in general. Sexual assault covers nonconsensual sex acts and situations where a person cannot consent.
An employer may still be liable for cases of sexual assault or harassment that do not occur in the workplace. Our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys can help you determine your legal options for instances of sexual assault that occured off-the-clock.
About Our Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Lawyers
The Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers atKesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. have extensive experience with employment law claims. If you have questions about possible legal options after being sexually assaulted in the workplace, then you can schedule a consultation with us. We can explain your possible options during a consultation.