Harassment Experienced Trial Attorneys



Skilled Employment Attorneys for Employees in Los Angeles Area and Throughout California
Harassment is strictly prohibited in California workplaces. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) allows employees who experience harassment to seek damages from their employers. However, not all unwelcome behavior qualifies as harassment under the law. FEHA protects individuals based on specific characteristics. If you believe you have been harassed due to belonging to a protected class, it's crucial to reach out to the Los Angeles harassment lawyers at SAW LAW GROUP.

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Workplace Harassment
To pursue a harassment claim in the workplace, you must demonstrate that the harassment occurred because of a protected characteristic as outlined in federal or state laws. FEHA provides extensive protections, prohibiting harassment based on categories such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, immigration status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, or military or veteran status.

FEHA mandates that employers with at least five employees refrain from discriminating or harassing applicants or employees based on their association with a protected class. Even employers with just one employee are subject to FEHA's prohibition against sexual harassment. FEHA safeguards not only employees but also job seekers, volunteers, unpaid interns, and other service providers such as independent contractors.

Types of Sexual Harassment
Courts typically recognize two forms of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment. If the harassment is based on a characteristic other than sex, it generally falls under hostile work environment harassment. To recover damages, a harassment attorney in the Los Angeles area must demonstrate that the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment. Minor or isolated incidents of insensitivity do not typically meet the legal threshold for action.

Perpetrators of Harassment
When harassment is perpetrated by a supervisor or manager, the employer can be held strictly liable for the misconduct. This means that the employer may be accountable for a supervisor's harassment even if it did not directly breach a duty of care towards the victim. However, holding an employer liable for harassment by coworkers, clients, or contractors is more complex and usually requires showing that the employer was negligent in addressing the harassment—meaning they knew or should have known about it but failed to take appropriate corrective action.

Responding to Harassment
If you have experienced harassment due to a protected characteristic, it's essential to follow any grievance procedures outlined in your employer's policies. In the absence of formal procedures, notifying a supervisor or Human Resources in writing is advisable. This documentation can support your case should the employer fail to rectify the situation promptly.

If you provide notice and the harassment persists without resolution, your next step is to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). This step is mandatory before initiating a lawsuit seeking damages for harassment. Generally, a complaint with DFEH must be filed within three years of the harassment occurring. DFEH will investigate or issue a right-to-sue notice, enabling you to pursue a civil lawsuit against both the harasser and the employer for monetary damages. The civil lawsuit must be filed within one year of receiving the right-to-sue notice from DFEH.

Consult with a Dedicated Employment Attorney
If you have been subjected to workplace harassment, you may have legal grounds to seek compensation. It's crucial to consult with an experienced employment attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your circumstances. At SAW LAW GROUP, our attorneys advocate vigorously for workers' rights and approach each case with empathy and determination.