Sexual assault is any nonconsensual sexual act prohibited by Federal, State, or tribal law. Even though sexual assault is considered a criminal offense, the law also considers sexual harassment as a type of employment discrimination.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) indicates several behaviors that may create an unwelcome sexual environment including:
These types of behaviors will unfortunately foster a negative impact on employees in the work environment because they:
To meet the standard for initiating legal action, these sexually charged behaviors must be either severe or pervasive enough, while also adversely affecting an individual’s working conditions.
Defining Sexual Assault in the Workplace
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that is performed without the consent of the victim. Forms of sexual assault include:
Additional actions that fall under sexual assault are verbal, visual, or non-contact activities, such as:
It is common for a perpetrator to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they are sexually assaulting someone. Date rape drugs have been used to trap victims, along with pressuring them to drink more acohol, as well.
If an individual is drunk, drugged, or high on drugs, it is not possible for them to give consent. If any sexual acts are performed on a victim without their consent, it is considered sexual assault.
How Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Affect Victims
Sexual harassment affects an individual’s mental and physical health and also limits opportunities for being promoted and receiving more compensation.
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Affecting Companies
If companies aren’t quick to resolve sexual harassment or assault, it can create a negative impact on their overall company performance.
Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace is the most ideal approach for everyone within an organization to participate in. If you are an employer, take the initiative of following up with employees and observe the work environment to ensure that these activities are not occurring.
If you are an employee, take notes and document your experience in the workplace. Providing evidence or proof of the situation will give you a higher chance of putting the attacker in their place.
If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The sexual harassment lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling sexual harassment cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.
We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a sexual harassment attorney in California, contact our office at 213 927-3700.
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