Friday, March 27, 2015

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is collectively defined as the unwelcome conduct, sexual in nature, which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment for the victim. The law classifies it into two:

  • Quid pro Quo - When a person in authority, such as a supervisor, demands or insinuates that he or she will give the employee something in return, such as a permission to keep the job or being promoted, in exchange of a sexual favor.
  • Hostile work environment - When a sexual conduct is severe or pervasive enough that it interferes with a person’s ability to perform. It requires a pattern of harassment; unlike quid pro quo which takes only a single instance to sustain a claim. 

There are three things needed to establish a sexual harassment claim:

1. The conduct is based on sex. This includes (but not limited to) visual conduct like sexual gestures or display of sexually-suggestive objects; physical conduct such as groping and kissing; or verbal conduct like derogatory jokes or offer to exchange benefits for sexual favors.

2 .The conduct is unwelcome.  It must be shown that the complainant did not welcome or initiate or want the conduct to happen. A Los Angeles lawyer would have to secure evidences of objections or resistance such as text messages, emails, etc.

3. The conduct is severe and pervasive. It must be proven that the conduct is more than just a minor, isolated incident. Simple teasing and off-hand comments are not valid basis to file a suit.


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