Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Many people assume that sexual harassment only happens between males and females, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Same-sex sexual harassment is every bit as grave, offensive, and illegal as any other type of harassment in the workplace. A familiarity with California law can help you to assert your rights in situations when you’re harassed in the workplace by a member of the same sex.

If you’ve faced such harassment, you should consult a legal professional who will explain your rights clearly, help you to take action, and represent you in obtaining compensation from your harasser or from your employer. The Orange County employment law attorneys at The NASSIRI LAW GROUP can help. To schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help you, contact us today.

What Constitutes Same-Sex Harassment in California?

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing , California’s definition of harassment “includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser.” Some different examples of illegal harassment can include:

  • Sexual advances.
  • Suggesting sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits.
  • Certain types of visual contact, including sexual gestures, displaying sexually suggestive materials or images, or making sexually suggestive looks or motions.
  • Sexual jokes, insults, or slurs, or verbal sexual propositions.
  • Commentary about an individual’s sex life.
  • Unwanted physical contact.

Anything from a member of the same sex that is sexually suggestive and makes you uncomfortable is likely considered harassment under California law.

What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities if I Am Being Harassed?

Your employer is legally obligated in the state of California to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment. This includes distributing materials (obtainable from the DFEH) that outline what constitutes sexual harassment and displaying posters that explain California sexual harassment policy.

A workplace may also not condone or encourage, through omission or commission, any sexual harassment, including same-sex harassment. Furthermore, your employer is required to take action if you make allegations of sexual harassment.

What Can I Do If I Am Being Harassed By a Member of the Same Sex?

There are a number of actions that you can and should take if you are the victim of same-sex sexual harassment. Your employer is required to have a complaint procedure in place that investigates and promptly deals with sexual harassment claims. Letting your supervisors know that you have been harassed as soon as the action takes place is thus the right first step.

If your workplace does not respond appropriately to your allegations, you should strongly consider contacting an employment law attorney. Sexual harassment of any type is illegal and your employer can be held accountable and made to compensate you. If the harassment took the form of quid pro quo harassment -- a supervisor harassing you in exchange for employment perks or advances -- then your employer is also to blame.

Call an Attorney Who Can Help With Same-Sex Harassment Issues

An Orange County employment law attorney at The NASSIRI LAW GROUP can help those who have been victimized by sexual harassment at work in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and surrounding areas. Contact us at 714-937-2020 to schedule your free consultation.