San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyer
You should not have to put up with unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate comments or jokes of a sexual nature, or unfair treatment because of your sex in any setting, whether it be at work, school or the doctor’s office. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you have the right to hire an attorney in San Francisco to hold one or more parties accountable for their actions.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is a team of highly qualified sexual abuse and harassment attorneys in California. We are well-versed in these types of cases and know how to help you protect your rights as a victim. Discuss your case in detail with one of our attorneys during a free, confidential case evaluation. Call (855) 944-0710 today.
Why Choose Our San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyers?
- We put our clients first. Our attorneys are in this field of work out of a true passion for helping victims of sexual harassment. We will dedicate our full attention to your case.
- We are the leading sexual assault plaintiff’s law firm in the country. We have litigated groundbreaking cases and achieved record-setting results.
- You will get the representation and assistance that you deserve at no cost upfront. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only pay us if you win.
San Francisco Sexual Harassment Resources & FAQs
- What Is Sexual Harassment in California?
- What Are the Types of Sexual Harassment?
- Examples of Sexual Harassment in San Francisco
- Sexual Harassment vs. Sexual Assault
- How Can I Prove Sexual Harassment Is Taking Place?
- How Can I Report Sexual Harassment in San Francisco?
- How Can a Lawyer Help My San Francisco Sexual Harassment Case?
- What Are the Consequences of Sexual Harassment in San Francisco?
What Is Sexual Harassment in California?
Sexual harassment refers to any offensive or unwelcome conduct or behavior based on a victim’s sex. It can refer to advances of a sexual nature, as well as other physical actions. It can also refer to verbal or visual sexual harassment. Sexual harassment does not need to be motivated by sexual desire; it can be based on a victim’s sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, relationship status, pregnancy, or childbirth or related medical conditions.
Sexual harassment is prohibited by both state and federal law. On a state level, sexual harassment goes against California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. This act protects employees from being harassed or discriminated against based on sex, including unwanted sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law against sexual harassment. This law prohibits employment discrimination based not only on sex but on race, color, religion, national origin and other protected classes, as well. Sexual harassment in the workplace is not the only form of this tort, however; a victim could suffer sexual harassment in many different settings, including school, the gym, religious institutions and online.
What Are the Types of Sexual Harassment?
If you have experienced any type of encounter that made you feel targeted, unsafe, unwelcome or uncomfortable based on your sex, you may be a victim of sexual harassment. The first thing to do is determine if what happened constitutes sexual harassment under California’s legal definition.
State law includes two types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo: “this for that” sexual harassment or requests for sexual favors. Quid pro quo harassment typically takes the form of a perpetrator offering something in exchange for a sexual favor, such as a manager offering an employee a raise in exchange for a date. In some cases, quid pro quo can involve blackmail; a harasser may threaten a victim to bully him or her into accepting a sexual favor or request.
- Hostile work environment: a workplace that feels threatening, unsafe, offensive or unproductive for a victim due to a culture of sexual harassment, bullying or abuse. If sexual harassment at work reaches a point where the environment does not feel safe for one or more employees, this can make the employer liable. Typically, a single sexual harassment incident is not enough to create a hostile work environment, unless it is severe.
Simple teasing or offhand remarks generally will not constitute sexual harassment. If the commentary, jokes, innuendos, behaviors or sexual advances reach the point of interfering with the victim’s job or well-being, however, the victim has grounds to file a civil claim against one or more parties in San Francisco.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
It is not always easy to identify sexual harassment. You may brush off an inappropriate remark, for example, as simple teasing or flirting, and not realize that you are experiencing sexual harassment. It is important, however, to recognize harassment when it occurs. This is the only way to protect yourself and take a stand against wrongdoers in your workplace, school or community.
The following are examples of sexual harassment under California law:
- Unwanted physical touching, such as hugs, kisses or massages.
- Inappropriate comments or remarks about your clothes or physical appearance.
- Gestures, facial expressions or noises of a sexually inappropriate nature.
- Lewd or inappropriate jokes of a sexual nature.
- Sexually explicit images being posted or circulated at work or school.
- Rumors of a sexual nature being spread about you.
- Unsolicited emails, texts or instant messages of a sexual nature.
- Links to pornographic material being sent to you.
- A boss or coworker asking you out on a date.
- Workplace discrimination based on your sex, gender or relationship status.
- “Revenge porn,” or an ex sending third parties explicit images of you.
If you need help determining whether you are a victim of sexual harassment in San Francisco, contact one of our attorneys. During a free and confidential case review, we will carefully listen to your story and offer our best advice. If we believe your case has merit, we may offer to represent you as you take legal action against your harasser and/or a larger institution, such as a company or school district sexual abuse.
Sexual Harassment vs. Sexual Assault
Sexual harassment and sexual assault are two different things in California. Sexual harassment is a tort, or a type of wrongdoing, while sexual assault in San Francisco is a crime. California’s definition of sexual assault under Penal Code 243.4 is touching an intimate part of another person while the victim is unlawfully restrained by the perpetrator or an accomplice, and against the will of the victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.
Sexual harassment behaviors often do not meet the definition of assault. If harassment results or leads to physical contact, however, such as touching of the private parts, rape or attempted rape, it is the crime of sexual assault or battery in California. As a victim of either or both types of wrongdoing, you have legal rights. This includes pressing criminal charges against the perpetrator and filing a civil claim.
How Can I Prove Sexual Harassment Is Taking Place?
Unlike sexual assault, sexual harassment may not leave any physical evidence, such as bruising or DNA. This can make sexual harassment more difficult to prove. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in San Francisco, take steps to gather as much evidence as possible on your own from the very beginning. Having a documented trail of evidence to prove sexual advances or inappropriate behavior can help you.
If you can, preserve and collect the following types of evidence:
- A journal where you describe each incident in detail, with times and dates.
- A list of anyone who witnessed your sexual harassment.
- Emails, text messages or written communication between you and the perpetrator.
- Copies of any inappropriate photos taken of you or received from the harasser.
- Copies of any complaints that you made to Human Resources or a manager.
- Employment records that show proof of discrimination or retaliation.
- Video surveillance footage or audio recordings of harassment, if available.
Establish a timeline of events by recording every incident of sexual harassment immediately after it happens. Keep all of your records and documents in one place. If there are no witnesses and no physical evidence available, your notes and records may be the only thing you have to prove your sexual harassment claim. Make them as detailed and accurate as possible.
How Can I Report Sexual Harassment in San Francisco?
Reporting sexual harassment is an important step, both for your personal safety and a future claim. The sooner you speak up about sexual harassment or discrimination, the better. You do not have to live or work in an environment that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. If you see something or experience harassment yourself, say something.
Take these steps to report sexual harassment in San Francisco:
- Tell the company. Go to HR and report the person who is harassing you. Put your complaint in writing and keep a copy. For your own notes, write down who you spoke to and what your employer’s response was.
- Report the harassment to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Telling this state agency about your issue can lead to an investigation and possible action taken against your employer. You can file a complaint online or by calling (800) 884-1684.
- Notify the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If you need additional assistance enforcing anti-harassment laws, you can involve the EEOC. A federal agent can visit your workplace, investigate your complaint and potentially take your employer to court.
Filing a sexual harassment report is the first step. If your report to your employer does not result in a prompt or satisfactory resolution, take your claim to higher authorities. Continue speaking up until you are seen and heard. If you need assistance, John C. Manly and his team of attorneys can help you report harassment and take the next steps toward justice. We can keep your identity anonymous throughout the process, if desired.
How Can a Lawyer Help My San Francisco Sexual Harassment Case?
You may not know what to do or where to turn for help as a victim of sexual harassment. The answer is hiring a San Francisco sexual harassment attorney. An attorney will work for you and no one else. You can trust the advice that you receive from your lawyer, as he or she is legally obligated to protect your best interests as a client. Furthermore, when you find a group of attorneys such as the team at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, you get lawyers who care about you and your case as much as you do.
The right sexual harassment attorney can help your case in many ways, such as:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and create a timeline of events.
- Search for and collect any available evidence to support your sexual harassment claim.
- Interview eyewitnesses or take depositions.
- Issue subpoenas to your employer, harasser or other parties to obtain documents.
- File a retaliation claim against your employer if you suffered adverse employment action for reporting sexual harassment.
- Negotiate a fair and full settlement with an insurance company on your behalf.
- Hire qualified sexual harassment experts to testify.
- Take your sexual harassment case to trial in San Francisco county, if necessary.
While a team of attorneys and assistants handle the legal legwork of your case for you, you will benefit from the answers and assistance that you need to get through this difficult time. You won’t feel alone or ever be left in the dark about the status of your case with a lawyer by your side. From legal information about sexual harassment lawsuits to advice on how to cope and support your mental health, your lawyer will be there for you every step of the way.
What Are the Consequences of Sexual Harassment in San Francisco?
Sexual harassment is much more than just a nuisance. It can have significant consequences on a victim professionally, physically, mentally and emotionally. On a professional level, sexual harassment can interfere with a victim’s education or career. It can force the victim to quit or lead to adverse employment actions, such as getting demoted or fired.
Physically, a victim may suffer injuries from physical acts of San Francisco sexual abuse or assault. A victim may also experience physical effects due to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety connected to sexual harassment, such as weight loss or trouble sleeping. These are common mental and emotional effects suffered by sexual harassment survivors. Feelings of guilt, shame, anger, hopelessness and withdrawal are also common.
Contact Our San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today
You don’t have to suffer in silence as a victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, at school or anywhere else. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we know exactly how to help victims of sexual harassment, abuse and assault. We have done it hundreds of times before. Clients have trusted our law firm with their most challenging and delicate cases for over 20 years. Find out how we can help you today.
Contact our San Francisco sexual harassment attorney to schedule a free case consultation. Call us at (855) 944-0710 or send us a secure message online anytime for a prompt callback.