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Harassment Attorneys

Everyone is entitled to a workplace that is free from sexual harassment whether from a manager or a co-worker. California law also protects employees against harassment because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. California law prohibits sexual harassment not just in traditional employment but also in business, service, or professional relationships such as with doctors, attorneys, investors, landlords, teachers, and others.

Types of Unlawful Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault 

Sexual assault is the unwanted touching of an intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.  Sexual assault is a crime.  It is also unlawful for employers to allow this type of conduct in the workplace or at work-related events. 

There are two main types of unlawful sexual harassment:

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment – this means “something for something” and occurs when someone (typically a manager or supervisor) offers something of value (e.g. a raise or promotion), or threatens something (e.g. termination) in exchange for a demand of sexual favors.  Quid pro quo sexual harassment can be implied; if a reasonable person would understand the conduct to be a demand or a threat, harassment is occurring.

Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment – this is when an employer subjects an employee to unwelcome sexual conduct that is severe enough to interfere with an employee’s work performance or create an intimidating work environment.  Whether the sexual conduct is pervasive depends on the circumstances, including the nature of the conduct, its frequency, and the context in which it occurs.  In California, a single incident may be sufficient to create a hostile work environment if it “unreasonably interferes” with the workplace or creates an “offensive working environment.” Also, harassment may occur when employees are not the direct target of harassment but witness harassment of other employees or favoritism toward an employee on the basis of sex.

Employers have a legal duty to investigate all claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, and to take immediate steps to end the harassment. A failure to investigate may expose employers to additional liability.  In addition, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who have complained about situations they reasonably believe to constitute sexual harassment.

Contact Experienced Harassment Counsel

The attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber have successfully represented survivors of sexual harassment and assault in employment, education and business relationships.  We understand and appreciate the trauma that such conduct causes, and we work closely with our clients to formulate the right approach to redressing these wrongs.  We have helped dozens of individuals navigate the legal process to vindicate their rights and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

If you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment or assault, or retaliation for complaining about such conduct, please contact us so that we may assist you.


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