Protecting your rights in the workplace.

Who Is Liable in a Sexual Harassment or Discrimination Lawsuit?

Our Los Angeles Sex Discrimination Attorneys Explain Employer Liability

Sexual harassment and discrimination are common problems in the American workplace. As you already know, a national movement, the #MeToo movement, focused on the issue over the past two years.

Workers who experience sexual harassment or discrimination can face lasting psychological trauma and damage to their careers. Fortunately, there are legal options for workers who experience these issues.

The Differences Between Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Sexual harassment and sex discrimination are employment law terms that people may sometimes use interchangeably. However, there are key differences.

With sexual harassment, someone in a position of power over your employment may offer you employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors. Or, a coworker or supervisor may cause you to experience a hostile workplace environment through unwanted touching, inappropriate comments or even leering.

Sex discrimination occurs when a person received differential treatment due to their gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. For instance, an employer may be guilty of discrimination if supervisors treat men more favorably than women.

Who Is Liable for Workplace Sexual Discrimination or Harassment?

Generally speaking, your employer (and not any person employed by your employer) is responsible for sex discrimination. But, for sexual harassment, your employer and the harassing employee are liable. Determining who is liable can be tricky without the help of an experienced attorney. If you experienced sexual harassment or discrimination, then there could be multiple parties who are liable for your damages.

When Your Employer Is Liable for Sexual Harassment or Sex Discrimination

Employers have a legal obligation to stop sexual harassment and sex discrimination in the workplace. Therefore, an employer might be liable for sexual harassment or sex discrimination even if the management was unaware of the wrongful conduct. In any event, the employer is always liable once he or she is made aware of the issue and fails to stop it. So, it is really important that you immediately notify your employer of any sexual harassment or discrimination and allow it to immediately take corrective action.

In addition, your employer might be liable to you for the sexual harassment of its clients or customers. For instance, if clients continuously make crude sexual comments that cause you extreme discomfort or emotional harm, and your employer fails to take any steps to stop this behavior, then your employer might be liable to you.

How to Handle a Workplace Sexual Harassment or Sex Discrimination Claim

You should immediately report instances of sexual harassment or sex discrimination to your supervisor, HR or anyone else identified in your employer’s employee handbook. You should write down the details of what happened and also make sure to write down the time, date and person (or department) you reported the sexual harassment to at your company.

Take note of what happens next. If the sexual harassment continues or if you face retaliation from your employer, then you should contact an employment law attorney in California.

An attorney can help you with the process of filing a claim or lawsuit against your employer. Specific criteria and evidence can help bolster the strength of your claim. Attorneys with experience can help you determine which steps you need to take and which types of evidence you need to gather.

Contact Our Los Angeles Sex Discrimination Attorneys for More Information

The Los Angeles sex discrimination attorneys at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP can help determine your legal options for filing a sexual harassment or discrimination claim. Our attorneys are experienced litigators who are passionate about defending the rights of employees and workers in California.

You can speak to one of our attorneys by calling (310) 499-0140 or by using the online contact form on our website to schedule a consultation.