Virtually every business operating in California has an anti-harassment policy that applies to every employee, and employers are required to have internal conflict resolution processes in place to address employees’ concerns and grievances. Unfortunately, not all employers abide by these obligations, and some harm their employees directly.
Many people working in California experience various forms of sexual harassment, and not all of these victims know their options for legal recourse. Some feel trapped by their circumstances, assuming they will lose their jobs if they speak up about their experiences. Others face harassment from their direct superiors at work, leaving them wondering where they can turn for help.
It’s easy for the victim of sexual harassment to feel as though the whole system is working against them, or they have no idea how to compile a sexual harassment claim. The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams can provide the professional support and guidance needed in these situations. Our firm has assisted many clients in Laguna Beach and throughout Orange County, CA with their workplace harassment and discrimination claims. We know the challenges victims face in pursuing accountability for the mistreatment they’ve experienced at work.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency tasked with enforcing workplace harassment and discrimination laws in American workplaces. When sexual harassment or any other violation of EEOC law occurs, the victim must submit a claim to the EEOC for review before pursuing a civil action against the defendant. The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams can help their client navigate the preliminary stages of a sexual harassment claim, help them make more informed decisions about the direction of their case, and secure a favorable outcome by accurately calculating claimable losses.
It’s natural to have lots of legal questions after experiencing sexual harassment at work. Some people wonder whether their experiences legally qualify as sexual harassment and others assume there is nothing they can do in response to these experiences. A Laguna Beach sexual harassment lawyer can help prospective clients determine whether they have grounds for legal action and help them build the foundation of their case.
Attempting to file an EEOC claim on your own is risky. Any errors in claim paperwork or inconsistencies in your statements could lead to delays or other unfavorable issues with your claim determination. A Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney can help the client complete their EEOC claim submission as efficiently as possible, gathering any supporting evidence or documentation the client must provide with their claim forms.
Many people who experience sexual harassment at work sustain measurable economic losses from these experiences. Others suffer more acute damages including physical injury. It’s common for the victim of sexual harassment to have no idea of the true value of their claim until they have legal counsel advising them. A Laguna Beach sexual harassment lawyer will thoroughly assess the economic damages their client has sustained and help them determine whether they can seek compensation for emotional distress and other non-economic damages. Ultimately, hiring the right attorney not only increases the client’s chance of success with their claim but is also likely to yield a more extensive recovery than the client may have expected.
How to File an EEOC Claim for Sexual Harassment
When an employee experiences sexual harassment, they typically cannot take immediate legal action against the defendant. First, they must submit a claim to the EEOC. The EEOC will review the claim details, contact the claimant if they require additional information, and then investigate the claim. US employers are legally required to facilitate any EEOC investigation into their policies, procedures, and workplaces.
If the EEOC determines the claim is valid, the agency issues the claimant a Notice of Right to Sue, which allows them to proceed with their civil action against the defendant. This is a necessary first step toward holding a defendant accountable for sexual harassment. With the EEOC’s backing, the claimant’s case is very likely to succeed.
Your Laguna Beach sexual harassment lawyer will assist you in compiling your claim, including any supplementary documentation you must submit to the EEOC. The EEOC typically responds to claims within 180 days. Once you receive your claim determination, your attorney will help you take the next step with your case. Depending on the nature of the sexual harassment you experienced, you could face a very complex series of interconnected legal proceedings.
Common Types of Sexual Harassment in California
“Sexual harassment” is a broad term that applies to any situation in which an employee suffers mistreatment at work on the basis of their sex or sexual orientation. The term also applies whenever managers, supervisors, and other workplace superiors leverage job-related benefits for sexual favors. For example, if a supervisor offers an employee a pay increase in exchange for a sexual favor, this is quid-pro-quo sexual harassment. Other employees are threatened with job-related penalties if they do not perform sexual favors.
Sexual harassment can be indirect in the form of sexual displays in the workplace, uncomfortable sexual commentary, jokes, and remarks that are not addressed by internal management. Other forms of sexual harassment are more overt or even physical, such as any unwanted touching, groping, or sexual battery. Individuals who engage in this level of sexual harassment likely face criminal prosecution in addition to civil claims for damages from their victims.
Your Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney can help you develop a legal strategy tailored to your unique situation. If the defendant committed a crime in their interactions with you, you may need to testify against them in criminal court. The civil claim following your EEOC complaint can also take many possible directions, and claimants may have more options to resolve their cases than they initially anticipated.
Potential Damages in a Sexual Harassment Case
California law allows the victim of sexual harassment to seek full compensation for any economic damages suffered from their experience. They may have lost their job, been denied pay increases or promotions, or suffered physical injuries. Lost income, lost value of benefits, medical expenses, and legal fees are all claimable in a sexual harassment case. Some claimants who have been wrongfully terminated after experiencing sexual harassment seek reinstatement to their previous positions while others do not wish to return to their former workplaces.
Sexual harassment can be a damaging and traumatic experience. California law allows the plaintiff in a workplace sexual harassment claim to seek compensation for the pain and suffering they endured. An experienced Laguna Beach sexual harassment lawyer can help their client determine a fair amount to include in their claim based on the severity of the client’s experience. If the defendant broke California law in committing the sexual harassment in question, they may owe additional restitution to the victim in addition to their other penalties.
Many sexual harassment claims end in a private settlement. Employers accused of engaging in or facilitating sexual harassment in their workplaces typically prefer to keep these case proceedings as quiet as possible, and many victims do not want much public exposure to their cases. However, settlement may not be possible if a defendant disputes the claim or offers an unreasonable settlement to the plaintiff. An experienced Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney is essential when a sexual harassment case must go to trial.
Penalties for sexual harassment can extend far beyond those assigned by the court. Employers face reputational damage, diminished sales, and reduced employee morale and productivity. Individuals charged with committing specific acts of sexual harassment including sexual assault face criminal charges, loss of professional licenses, and sex offender registration along with civil liability for the victim’s damages. Ultimately, the best way for any victim of sexual harassment to secure the best possible outcome for their case is by hiring an experienced Huntington Beach sexual harassment lawyer.
How to Prove Sexual Harassment Claim in Orange County
Many people do not take legal action in response to sexual harassment because they believe they do not have the evidence necessary to prove their claims to be true. Some employers who engage in sexual harassment are careful to conceal their actions. Others leverage at-will employment laws to fire employees who refuse to comply with requests for sexual favors or those who report sexual harassment from within the organization.
Proving sexual harassment can be difficult, but an experienced Laguna Beach sexual harassment lawyer will assist their client in gathering whatever evidence they may need to prove the truth behind their experiences and hold the defendant accountable for their actions. This may include testimony from current or former employees of the defendant, security camera footage from inside the workplace, and records of correspondence between the parties involved.
What to Expect From a Laguna Beach Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Hiring the right attorney to represent your sexual harassment claim has a profound influence on the outcome of the case. A good Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney will help their client understand the legal mechanisms they must navigate to reach an acceptable resolution to their claim. They will explain the EEOC claim process, how to proceed once the EEOC has made its determination, and what damages could be available to them if they win their case.
The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams offer compassionate and individualized legal counsel to every client we represent in Laguna Beach. We understand that any incident of sexual harassment at work can be distressing, damaging, and have various negative effects on the life of the victim. Our goal in every sexual harassment case we accept is to help our client approach these difficult proceedings with confidence and secure the maximum amount of compensation possible under EEOC and California law.
Q: How Do You Win a Sexual Harassment Case?
A: Proving that sexual harassment occurred can be very difficult in some cases. Depending on the nature of alleged sexual harassment, the case may have little evidence other than one party’s word against another’s. Ultimately, there are always options for proving that sexual harassment occurred, and an experienced Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney can help their client develop an individualized legal strategy.
Q: How Much Is a Sexual Harassment Case Worth in California?
A: Many people who experience sexual harassment at work do not initially realize they can seek financial compensation for these incidents. When sexual harassment causes economic damages such as lost income or lost benefits at work, the plaintiff can seek compensation for all economic losses resulting from the defendant’s harassment. It’s also possible for the plaintiff to receive compensation for emotional distress, attorneys’ fees, and liquidated damages depending on the severity of their experience.
Q: What Are the Penalties for Sexual Harassment in California?
A: Employers can face heavy fines for engaging in any behavior in violation of EEOC workplace harassment and discrimination laws. Individuals who commit serious acts of sexual harassment, such as groping or battery, face criminal prosecution, loss of professional licenses, sex offender registration, and a host of personal and professional consequences. In some cases, the EEOC initiates legal action against defendants on behalf of claimants.
Q: Is it Worth Hiring a Laguna Beach Sexual Harassment Lawyer?
A: It can be very difficult for anyone who experiences sexual harassment at work to determine the best approach to recovering from this situation. An experienced Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation, helping their client not only prove the truth behind their claims but also secure compensation for their losses. It’s also possible for a plaintiff to recover their legal fees as damages from the defendant, so it is always worth investing in reliable legal counsel for a Laguna Beach sexual harassment case.
Free Consultation for a Laguna Beach Sexual Harassment Attorney
Sexual harassment is an unfortunate reality in many American workplaces, and employees in all industries must know their rights when it comes to workplace harassment and the legal options afforded by the EEOC. The Law Offices of Corbett H. Williams offers comprehensive, client-focused legal counsel in sexual harassment claims filed in the Laguna Beach, CA area. We can review the details of your experience and help you determine the best approach to recovery. Discuss your case with a Laguna Beach sexual harassment attorney by contacting us .
If you believe you have a legitimate claim of workplace retaliation, Corbett H. Williams is fully prepared to fight for any compensation you rightfully deserve. Cases dealing with unfair workplace actions may seem daunting, but Corbett has had experience with both sides of these issues and knows how to handle these types of cases. Don’t hesitate to call the office at 877-304-7066 to schedule a free case analysis.