California Lawyer Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination are issues that unfortunately exist in every industry. While it may come as a surprise, this includes the very field involved in justice and integrity – law. Lawyer sexual harassment refers to a legal representative taking advantage of his or her position of power or authority to sexually harass a victim, including a client, coworker, co-counselor, assistant, paralegal, expert witness or others in the workplace.
If you have suffered sexual harassment by a lawyer in California, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a free and confidential case review. We know that you’ve been wronged by a lawyer in the past. We have years of client testimonials supporting us as trustworthy, honest and dependable sexual harassment lawyers who look out for our clients. We will make you feel safe, heard and respected while we fight for justice on your behalf.
The Basics of California’s Sexual Harassment Laws
Sexual harassment is defined by unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or unwanted physical advancements. It can refer to harassment of a sexual nature as well as remarks about a person’s sex, such as about women or men in general. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that it is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her sex. The law defines sexual harassment as not just simple teasing or offhand comments but harassment that is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or results in an adverse employment action against the victim. Examples include:
- Unwanted or inappropriate sexual touching
- Derogatory or crude comments and remarks
- Requests for sexual favors (quid pro quo)
- Asking a coworker out on a date
- Commenting on a coworker’s looks or appearance
- Posting illicit photos or messages around the office
- Sending inappropriate emails or messages
- Inappropriate jokes of a sexual nature
- Disparaging jokes about someone’s sex
- Withholding work opportunities due to someone’s sex
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. This act, along with federal laws, protects employees – and applicants, independent contractors and unpaid interns – from all forms of sexual harassment and discrimination at work. The FEHA also outlines rules and requirements that employers must obey to protect workers from sexual harassment. This includes taking prompt and appropriate action when sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination is reported.
What Is Lawyer Sexual Harassment?
Lawyers hold a position of trust, power and authority. They are sworn to protect the legal rights and best interests of their clients. Depending on the type of case, a lawyer could mean the difference between freedom or jail time for a client in a criminal case, or financial duress and a major settlement in a civil case. This gives the lawyer power over his or her clients. In exchange, the client may feel like he or she cannot say no or speak up in the face of sexual harassment or assault.
It can be difficult to recognize the difference between a lawyer simply being kind or physically demonstrative and sexual harassment. For instance, a lawyer may naturally be comfortable with touching, such as hugging, shoulder-squeezing and hand-holding. However, if the client or victim feels uncomfortable, the victim should speak up. If at that point the lawyer does not change his or her problematic behaviors or the situation turns into another type of harassment, such as retaliation or name-calling, the victim should take the complaint to the next stage.
If your experience with a lawyer involves touching that is unwanted, severe and pervasive, it is lawyer sexual harassment. It is also sexual harassment if verbal or visual harassment reaches the point of creating a hostile work, environment or adversely affects your job. Finally, certain actions are always considered sexual harassment, such as a lawyer touching a victim’s thighs, buttocks, genitals or a female’s breasts.
What Are Your Rights as a Victim of Lawyer Sexual Harassment in California?
If you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment by a lawyer or legal specialist in California, protect your rights by consulting with a different lawyer right away. While your faith in lawyers might be shaken by your traumatic experience, hiring a different lawyer who can help you file a sexual harassment claim can enable you to take your power back. Research the attorney you hire thoroughly, including looking at law firm reviews and testimonials that can give you an idea of what it’s like to work with the attorney. Find a lawyer that you trust.
Your lawyer can help you go up against another lawyer who made you feel threatened, intimidated, unsafe or vulnerable through sexual harassment. This includes going up against a lawyer that you worked with in a professional capacity as a fellow lawyer, coworker or legal assistant or a lawyer you hired to represent you. Your new attorney can help you understand your rights and take the steps necessary to hold someone accountable for sexually harassing you. This includes reporting the perpetrator to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the EEOC, and the State Bar of California.
Next, your attorney can file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the unethical lawyer on your behalf. A lawsuit in California could result in financial compensation being awarded to you for your related losses, such as lost wages, back pay, lost employment opportunities, legal fees, medical expenses, prescription medications, pain and suffering, and damage to your reputation. Most sexual harassment lawsuits do not go to trial; they are resolved with settlement agreements. However, the attorneys at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi are prepared to go to court on your behalf, if necessary, for optimal results.
Get Help With Your California Lawyer Sexual Harassment Case Today
Being sexually harassed by a lawyer, either at work or as a client, can be overwhelming. We understand that this traumatic experience can make it difficult to feel comfortable placing your trust in another attorney. However, not all lawyers are unethical. Thousands of clients have trusted Manly, Stewart & Finaldi with their sexual harassment, assault and abuse claims for over 20 years. We are reputable sexual harassment lawyers with a long history of behaving professionally, respectfully and ethically in everything that we do.
You deserve justice as the victim of lawyer sexual harassment. We understand what you’ve been through and are passionate about bringing sexual harassers to justice – especially fellow attorneys. We know how lawyers should behave, and how to protect your rights and interests as our client. Please call (855) 204-3493 or contact us online today to arrange a free case consultation to learn more.