What rights do I have after informing my employers of sexual harassment? (My consequences of doing so cannot be legal)

Asked 10 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

I'm skeptical in revealing too much info here- however I'm not sure of what step to take next. I've been harassed, discriminated and retaliated against. It's obvious that my employers have tried to persuade me to quit; but I've stayed. Despite my wages taking a 59% cut, despite the hostile work environments that I've had to endure. Despite receiving messages/text from management after hours giving me someone else's responsibilities; I stayed. I have taken one punch after another; without throwing a single one. I've kept paper trails, text logs and captured photographs to defend my truths. I need help. I have suffered financially, mentally & emotionally because of my gender and my race.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Daniel Michael Holzman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have plenty of legal options:

    1) You're supposed to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace.
    2). Your employer has a legal obligation to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
    3). You are not supposed to be retaliated against for reporting sexual and if you are you can sue for retaliation.

    It sounds like you're being retaliated against already. I would talk to an experienced employment lawyer who should not charge you. A lawyer who will take your case will probably do so on a contingency fee (percentage basis).

    I'm sorry to hear you're having to deal with this.

    www.laemploymentlawyers.com

  2. Brad S Kane

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree that you should not reveal too much on this public forum and your claim sounds very serious. Sexual harassment and retaliation cases are factually complex. You should immediately contact a knowledgeable employment lawyer for a free consultation outside of this forum.

  3. Craig Trent Byrnes

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As I'm sure you know, it is illegal to harass someone on the basis of either their race or sex. It is also illegal to retaliate against someone who makes complaints he or she reasonably believes to be racial or sexual harassment. These laws are contained in the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), California's version of the civil rights laws.

    If you believe that you have been illegally harassed or retaliated against, and you decide you want to take legal action, make sure to do so within the statute of limitations period, or your rights may be lost forever.

    I hope you can resolve these issues, and I wish you the best.

    Sincerely,
    Craig T. Byrnes
    www.ctblawfirm.com

    Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with... more
  4. Sagar P. Parikh

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A full consultation would be needed to properly advise you of your rights.

  5. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have received multiple answers here all saying pretty much the same stuff. Fair enough. It's all good counsel. But there are some statements in your post that give one pause and, since you are not fired but still employed and apparently hope to hang on to that job, I will venture comments on those issues that are triggering alarms:

    Re: " ... receiving messages/text from management after hours giving me someone else's responsibilities;..". This conduct, as you describe it, is not unlawful and not harassment or "hostile work environment." It is lawful employer action. At will employees (non-union; no labor contract) can be legally terminated for failure to perform as instructed by the employer even if the instructions come by text after hours and pertain to "someone else's" responsibilities.

    Re: "I have suffered financially, mentally & emotionally because of my gender and my race." OK, but did your employer not realize your gender or race when you were hired? So what got added to the mix after you were hired? This simple deduction is used by employers to demonstrate that there are likely other factors that are critical in evaluating the lawfulness of the employer's conduct. Remember, as a claimant it is your burden to show by evidence that "but for" your race and gender, the unlawful conduct by the employer would not have occurred. That can be difficult where the employee's race and gender were obvious and acceptable to the employer at the time of hire.

    These examples are typical of the kinds of employer conduct issues that employees often over-evaluate and that can cause the employee to err in their attitude and performance on the job. It is important that you get into a detailed consultation with a skilled and experienced employment discrimination attorney ASAP. If you are over-playing your issues, you need to know now, so that you can adjust and correct your course while still employed. Even a legally-sufficient lawsuit is seldom as good as a job.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more
  6. Kristine S Karila

    Contributor Level 16

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Call an employment law attorney to discuss. Many offer a free initial phone consultation. If you complained about sexual harassment in the workplace in good faith and were retaliated against BECAUSE of your complaint, you may have a very good case.

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