Sexual Harassment in Banking

Sexual harassment has impacted the banking and finance industry for decades. The male-dominated financial sector is a common setting for sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims. If you work in banking in California, you may have experienced a form of sexual harassment. If so, you may be eligible for financial compensation from your employer or another party. Seek justice and maximum relief with assistance from a banking sexual harassment attorney in California.

Sexual Harassment in the Banking Industry

 The banking industry is historically overwhelmingly male. However, the competitive culture of the financial industry can lead to harassment of all types, between all sexes. Although sexual harassment against women is most common in the banking industry, men can also experience harassment and discrimination. Sexual harassment in banking can take the form of male-female sexual harassment, male-male sexual harassment or female-female sexual harassment. If you have experienced any type of sexual harassment from anyone at your company or in the workplace, the law may entitle you to financial compensation.

What Is Sexual Harassment in California?

Pursuing a sexual harassment claim takes an understanding of California’s definition of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a common type of employment claim that involves unlawfully subjecting someone in the workplace to unwelcome sexual advances or other types of harassment.

  • Sexual touching or massages
  • Inappropriate touching or kissing
  • Invasions of personal space
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Sexual jokes and innuendos
  • Sending inappropriate or explicit notes/emails
  • Sexual images
  • Sexual gestures or body language
  • Spreading sexual rumors about someone
  • Other unwelcome verbal or physical sexual conduct

Gender discrimination is also a common problem in the banking industry. It refers to treating someone unfairly based solely on that person’s gender, gender identity or gender expression. Gender discrimination in banking most often refers to a male employee or boss discriminating against a female. Harassment and discrimination can take place during the application and interview processes, while at work, or at work-related functions and activities.

Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a violation of the law. In California, all employers (under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act) must teach their employees about sexual harassment and how to prevent this crime. Unfortunately, in banking and other industries, a boss may turn a blind eye to sexual harassment he or she knows is happening in the workplace. It is often up to you as an employee to protect yourself in a situation that meets the definition of sexual harassment. In general, sexual harassment in finance will come in one of two main types.

Quid Pro Quo

Quid pro quo sexual harassment refers to a situation in which the harasser offers something in exchange for the completion of a sexual favor or request. For example, a bank manager is committing quid pro quo pro sexual harassment by offering a teller a raise if she goes on a date with him. Quid pro quo can also take the form of a threat; the harasser will not negatively affect the victim’s employment if he or she complies with the sexual request. Quid pro quo sexual harassment can be difficult to say no to. Many victims do not want to lose their jobs by refusing a request from someone higher up at the bank or financial firm. Quid pro quo is illegal, however, and should not be something any employee in banking has to suffer through.

Hostile Work Environment

The other type of sexual harassment in banking is the creation of a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is one in which the victim of sexual harassment does not feel safe. It is a work environment so plagued by sexual harassment and/or discrimination that the victim feels intimidated, threatened, in danger, or unable to do his or her job. Typically, to have grounds for a claim based on a hostile work environment, the victim must prove that the sexual harassment was severe or persistent enough to create an unwelcoming, unproductive or unsafe workplace.

Banker Sexual Harassment Retaliation

Many victims of sexual harassment in banking do not come forward or speak up about their experiences. Many stay silent for fear of retaliation, such as losing their jobs or getting demoted after reporting harassment in the workplace. However, California law protects you from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace. If your employer retaliates against you for speaking up, you will have legal options. If you report sexual harassment to your Human Resources Department, for instance, and your boss terminates your employment the next day, you will be able to file a lawsuit for retaliation against the employer.

Compensation for Victims of Banker Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment at work in banking could cause significant emotional distress, fear of imminent harm and lost wages from staying home. Pervasive sexual harassment could destroy your career and your reputation. As someone who lived through sexual harassment in banking in California, you have legal rights. Your employer may owe you financial compensation for all of your economic and noneconomic damages.

  • Lost past and future earnings
  • Back pay or front pay
  • Job reinstatement, if terminated
  • Legal expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Therapy bills

To recover compensation for sexual harassment in the finance industry, first report the incident to your supervisor or branch manager. Write down what happened for your own notes. If your employer fails to make things right, take it to the next step by reporting the issue to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate the bank or workplace for signs of harassment and may force your employer to offer reparations. If your employer still refuses to remedy the situation, reach out to an attorney for assistance with a lawsuit.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Sexual Harassment Lawyer

You are not the first person to experience sexual harassment in banking, and you unfortunately will not be the last. You have rights under several state and federal laws. Exercise them with help from a sexual harassment lawyer at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. Our sexual harassment in banking lawyers understand how these cases work and how to obtain the best possible results for our clients. If someone at your work has sexually harassed, discriminated against or retaliated against you in the banking or finance industry, contact us for a free confidential consultation.