Do I have a case if my manager sexually harassed me with inappropriate behavior and verbal. I have two witnesses. One is scared

Asked 7 months ago - Simi Valley, CA

The manager made sexual remarks about my body. He is caught always staring at my body parts by multiple people. He comes behind me and tickles me and puts his hands around my waist. Talks about sexual positions and asked me which one I prefer. Inappropriate sexual language and remarks to me.

Additional information

I have not complained to his BOSS or HR because I'm scared of retaliation and they may try to fire me. I told him to stop. Sometimes I don't say anything because of a fear of being fired. But that doesn't mean I'm inviting his sexual remarks or that I'm ok with them. I'm simply scared. Unfortunately our HR is very negligent to these time of complains. Nothing gets done. I'm scared to say anything to HR, I'm afraid they might make the situation worse. It is already a very hostile working environment, I didn't want to make it worse. But I feel I can't take anymore and decided finally to speak out.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Jonathan Aaron Weinman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This definitely sounds like you have a claim for sexual harassment against both the manager and the company you work for. You should immediately consult with an employment attorney familiar with these types of claims. Most of us provide free consultations and work on a contingency so you will not have to put up any costs to pursue your rights.

    As for the witness being scared, that is common but not something that should dissuade you from pursuing valid claims. A good attorney will be able to handle witnesses who may not want to testify out of fear of losing their jobs. Finally, I would encourage you to write down and document all of the instances of harassment that you can think of. Good luck.

  2. Michael Robert Kirschbaum

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Employers are strictly liable for the actions of their managers who engage in sexually offensive conduct which is severe or pervasive in the workplace. You have options available to you but it would be best for you to consult with one or more employment law attorneys for advice and direction, to help you decide which option is best for you. You can either use the Find a Lawyer function on Avvo or go to the website for the California Employment Lawyers Association at www.cela.org and find a CELA member to help you.

    They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion... more
  3. Daniel Michael Holzman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This could be a good case and you should definitely consult with an attorney. Sounds like you are certainly being sexually harassed at work and the company may be directly responsible for the acts of the manager. This totally inappropriate behavior. Lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee (meaning you don't pay unless you win).

    Best of luck.

  4. Kristine S Karila

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sexual harassment in the workplace is not only unprofessional, it is unlawful if it is either severe or pervasive. Whether you have a good case will depend on more facts. How have you responded to the sexual harassment? Have you complained to your manager, his boss, HR, etc.? Once your employer knows of the inappropriate conduct, after a complaint, they have a duty to investigate the claim and make it stop. Call an employment law attorney to discuss. Many of us offer a free phone consultation and may be able to take your case at no cost to you.

  5. Michael David Early

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . There is no question that you are being sexually harassed. You should consult with an attorney. You should discuss your case and what your ultimate objectives are. People will sometimes hear a lawyer tell them that they have a great case and start a lawsuit without considering how it will affect them. Do you want to resolve this quickly? Would you like to continue working there if you could get the harassment to stop? These are the types of things to think about and to discuss with a lawyer, not just the dollar value of your case.

    Unless you talk to a lawyer right away, you should make notes of dates, times, places and nature of the remarks or actions that were inappropriate. Understandably, your recollection may have already faded as to events that occurred weeks or months ago, but do your best to recall as much as you can. This will be something that you can give to your attorney, and you may need it later to help you remember specifics as time passes.

    At some point, you are going to have to report the harassment to HR. The company cannot legally retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment, but of course that doesn't mean that it can't happen. In any event, at some point you're going to be asked why you didn't report the harassment, and you need to be able to say "I did" or have a very good explanation as to why you didn't. While my colleagues are correct that your employer is strictly liable for the harassment of managers, the reporting issue is one that makes a difference in the real world when it comes to the value of your case.

  6. Kevin Rindler Madison

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . I always think it is wise to visit with an attorney who specializes in sexual harassment cases and discuss these matters in detail and get legal advice as what would be your best course of action. An attorney can give you an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim, and what procedural steps you should take. Many attorneys handle these cases on a contingency percentage fee, taking a percentage of the recovery. There are no hourly fees and most attorneys do not charge anything for an initial appointment to discuss your case. I would suggest that you begin your search for an attorney on this Avvo website. There is a tab "Find A Lawyer" on the home page of Avvo at www.avvo.com that will help you find a lawyer in this practice area in your locale. Good luck!

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think... more

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Criminal charges for harassment

Harassment describes a variety of repetitive behaviors that threaten, disturb, or upset someone. Harassment includes unwanted sexual advances and stalking.

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