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Very hostile environment to work in. Sexual harassment continues by multiple people in the company over 4 years

Elk Grove, CA |

Very hostile environment to work in. Sexual harassment continues by multiple people in the company, from pornography, to lewd jokes, to touching, groping, kissing, hugging, sexual gestures, etc. Also, I'm harassed because I'm a Christian and have told them these types of actions and conduct are against my religious belief. Had another incident yesterday when a male kissed me on the neck. I have told this man not to touch me and to leave me out of his sexual behavior over and over but he won't listen. When I told my boss he laughed. I told my supervisor, he said the guy is just friendly. This has to stop! I'm growing weary of dealing with all of this harassment. Please help.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Reach out for a consultation with any number of excellent experienced employment discrimination lawyers in your area. Go to cela.org for a good master list. These are outrageous facts. Get a lawyer.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.


  2. From the facts, it seems you have strong claims for harassment, hostile work environment, etc... Consult with an attorney right away to ensure you are protected and to have the company correct and halt the abusive behavior.

    The information above is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and you should not rely on it. Providing information on Avvo does NOT create an attorney-client relationship even if there is a back and forth exchange between us. The relationship can be created only if we both sign a written agreement and you have paid fees as required.


  3. As my colleagues has informed you, the conduct you describe is, indeed, unlawful behavior and you need to retain an attorney to help you. I am not sure why you believe you are harassed because you are Christian. Sexual harassment runs afoul of all religions.

    The California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), which Ms. McCall mentioned, can be found at www.cela.org. Click on the "Find a CELA Member" to locate an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases in your area. You can also use the "Find a Lawyer" function on Avvo to find out more information about lawyers who can help you. Good luck.

    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 based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.


  4. I'm sorry you're going through this.

    Sexual harassment is illegal, and violates the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"). What you've described would constitute sexual harassment if it is severe or pervasive enough to fundamentally alter the nature of the workplace. From what you've described, it sounds like your workplace fits the characteristics of a hostile, sexually harassing work environment.

    I understand also that you told them that their actions violate your religious beliefs. Harassment on the basis of religion is also illegal under the FEHA. From what you've written, I would tend to believe that the stronger claim is sexual harassment; it's not clear to me that the reason that they're doing what they're doing is to harass you *because of* your religion. I understand that your religion is part of the reason you take such strong offense to what's going on, but the law will generally place this more in the category of sexual than religious harassment. Both, of course, are illegal.

    There are substantial remedies for an individual facing the type of workplace that you're in. The FEHA provides for damages for emotional distress, back pay and front pay (if they ever took the next step and terminated you because of your complaints). In rare cases, plaintiffs may have access to punitive damages as well.

    If you decide to take legal action, make sure to do so before your time limit, called the statute of limitations, runs out or your right to do so may be lost forever.

    I hope this information is helpful to you. Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions on this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Craig T. Byrnes
    www.ctblawfirm.com
    310-706-4177

    Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.


  5. The other answers advise you find an employment attorney immediately. That is outstanding advice.

    In the meantime, if your company has an HR department, go there to report this conduct. Bypass the supervisor altogether. You need to give the company a chance to do the right thing. If it fails to do so, there are even greater consequences that will befall the company.

    All companies are required to have posting and inform the employees to whom they should direct this kind of misconduct. An employee handbook may also give you a name and/or a phone number. Find out who is designated by your company to handle this kind of complaint and contact them ASAP.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  6. You are in a very difficult situation. It is unlawful for an employer to tolerate sexual harassment such as you have described. You may have grounds to quit your employment because your situation is intolerable. However, before you do so, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney to discuss your options. If you do leave your employment or are fired for complaining, you have a limited time in which to file administrative complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or US Equal Opportunities Commission. The law in this area is very complicated. I strongly urge to seek counsel from an experienced employment rights lawyer.

    Answering your inquiry does not establish an attorney-client relationship. California law requires that the potential client and the attorney enter into a written retainer agreement. Moreover, additional or different facts may affect or change the general legal response offered. Therefore, the attorney makes no warranty of the accuracy or applicability of any of the information that he may provide in this response.

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