When most people think about sexual harassment, they may assume that the perpetrator is a man and that the victim is a woman. However, employees in California and throughout the country can be victims of sexual harassment regardless of their gender or the gender of their harassers. This means that women can be victims of abuse perpetrated by other women or that men could face harassment from other men.
Those who file sexual harassment claims might allege that they are victims of a quid pro quo. In such a scenario, a supervisor asks an employee for a sexual favor in exchange for getting a promotion or retaining his or her position. Alternatively, a person might claim that he or she was subject to a hostile working environment in which they are too scared or intimidated to do their jobs properly. Managers who send inappropriate text messages or ask employees to take their clothes off could create such an environment.
Victims of sexual harassment don’t necessarily report what happened to them for a variety of reasons. For instance, they may fear retaliation from a manager or others within the company. Victims may also be too embarrassed to file an official complaint or feel as if they may have done something to attract unwanted attention.
Workers who are subject to inappropriate touching or other inappropriate behavior might be victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Harassment victims may want to ask an attorney to review their claims and represent them during settlement talks or during a formal trial. An attorney may use manager statements, photos or other lines of evidence to show that a quid pro quo occurred. Legal counsel may also use this evidence to prove that a worker was subject to a hostile working environment.