Recent Client Success Stories

How We Help Fight Discrimination, Retaliation, and Wage Theft on Behalf of Our Clients.

See Success Stories

Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Attorneys

sexual harassment lawyer los angeles

Sexual harassment in the Los Angeles workplace violates federal and state laws. It also creates a toxic work environment for employees and job applicants and can harm you physically and psychologically. Because of this, under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, if you’ve experienced harassment, you may have the right to sue your employer for damages.

The unjust and damaging effects of sexual harassment should never be ignored. Los Angeles victims of sexual harassment at work need a law firm that understands the harm that a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment can cause. You deserve a trusted advocate who will fight for your rights and stand by your side from the start of your claim to the finish.

At King & Siegel LLP, our sexual harassment attorneys in Los Angeles are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with your employer. We founded our firm on the premise that the same hard-hitting, skilled, and passionate litigation tactics employed in bigger, more expensive firms could and should be available to workers. Our clients trust us with personal and critical legal issues, and we do not take this responsibility lightly. We take your case personally and will never treat you like just a case file or number.

Our Los Angeles workplace sexual harassment lawyers have won millions in sexual harassment settlements and verdicts and will fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation if you have been harassed, assaulted, or exploited in the workplace or by your employer.

Types of Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment affects employees and job applicants in the workplace. Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment at work. Sexual harassment can occur between two men, two women, men and women, or several different people of the same or different sexes.

There are two types of sexual harassment: “quid pro quo” harassment and hostile work environment.

“Quid pro quo” harassment, happens when someone conditions a term of employment on submitting to unwanted sexual advances. Some examples include:

  • Promising shifts, a raise, or promotion if an employee slept with a manager;
  • Threatening termination if an employee didn’t sleep with a manager;
  • Requesting sex in exchange for a job; and
  • A boss saying they would make an employee’s life a nightmare if they didn’t submit to their sexual advances.

Hostile work environment happens when an employee is subjected to unwanted and offensive behavior. This can include:

  • Sexually-based commentary, jokes, gestures, images, etc.;
  • Receiving graphic text messages;
  • Being shown pornography at work;
  • Lewd comments about a person’s body;
  • Graphic discussions of other workers’ sex lives or preferences;
  • Kissing, hugging, pinching, rubbing, patting, or any touching without consent;
  • Whistling, cat-calling, staring a person up and down;
  • Physically blocking someone’s movement;
  • Using gender or sexual orientation-based slurs; and
  • Gossiping or spreading sexual rumors about someone

These are a few examples of the types of conduct that can lead to a sexual harassment claim at work. If you have experienced inappropriate and offensive behavior at work, contact a hostile work environment lawyer in Los Angeles today to learn more about filing a claim.

What counts as sexual harassment can depend on the circumstances of your workplace. To confidentially discuss your situation with an experienced workplace harassment attorney in Los Angeles, call (213) 465-4802 today.

How to Report Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

If you are experiencing sexual harassment at work, first, tell your employer. You can report sexual harassment to either a supervisor or a member of the Human Resources Department at your company. This person may be able to take actions that will end the harassment. This step will also help your case if you need to file a complaint or lawsuit because it shows that you attempted to handle the harassment in-house first.

If that does not solve the problem, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”). California law requires you to take this step before filing a workplace harassment lawsuit.

After filing your claim, you’ll need to wait for the DFEH to issue a “right to sue” notice. California may issue a “right to sue” notice immediately or following the DFEH’s investigation of your complaint. Once the DFEH gives the notice, you and your attorney may file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages against the harasser and the employer, including damages for emotional distress. You may also be able to ask for punitive damages and attorney’s fees, depending on the circumstances of your case.

LAWS THAT PROTECT EMPLOYEES FROM SEXUAL HARASSMENT

If you are a federal worker, federal and state laws protect employees and job applicants from sexual harassment at work. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees in companies with 15 or more workers. Under Title VII, sexual harassment victims must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing a complaint in federal court.

California employees also have protection under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The benefit of this law is there’s no requirement for the company to have a minimum number of employees before you’re eligible to pursue a claim. It also provides broader protections than Title VII.

Statute of Limitations

DFEH complaints generally must be filed within three years of the date the harassment occurred. Similarly, you must file a civil lawsuit within one year of receiving a “right to sue” notice from the DFEH.

If you file a complaint with the EEOC, you have 300 days from the date of alleged harm to file a charge against an employer with 15 or more employees. Charges against employers of less than 15 must be filed within 365 days with the DFEH in the State of California.

Should you miss the filing deadline, there may be options. Thanks to California AB 1619, sexual assault victims have additional time to file. AB 1619 was passed in response to the #MeToo movement and extended the filing deadline for sexual assault survivors to 10 years after the last episode of abuse. If a victim discovers an injury linked to the abuse, they have three years from the date of discovery to file. Calculating all the deadlines in a sexual harassment case is crucial. Should you miss the deadlines, the courts will likely dismiss your case, and you will be barred from recovery.

How to Calculate Compensation

An employee who experiences sexual harassment in the workplace may recover damages under California law. Damages can include economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages in certain circumstances. Economic damages include lost past wages and lost future wages.

Your claimed damages might include other benefits you lost out on, such as vacation pay, healthcare and retirement benefits, and more. 

Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering and emotional distress. Emotional distress encompasses several types of emotional harm, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, and more. 

Courts also have the discretion to grant non-monetary remedies too. A judge might demand your employer reinstate your employment or require the company to change its policies and procedures. 

In some cases, you might receive punitive damages. Punitive damages can be awarded in cases where your employer made no effort to safeguard your rights. That means you need evidence your employer was the perpetrator or knew of the behavior and did nothing to stop it.

In California, a court will calculate the amount of damages it awards based on several factors, including:

  • The harasser’s position relative to the victim,
  • The level of hostility a victim encounters,
  • How many workers the company employs,
  • The type and frequency of sexual harassment encountered,
  • Whether the company took action to correct the problem, and
  • Whether the conduct singled out one victim.

According to EEOC data, the average out-of-court settlement for employment discrimination claims is about $40,000. But each case is unique, so don’t assume that is what your case will be worth. Talk to a lawyer to get a valid estimate of what your case might be worth.

FAQ: Sexual Harassment at Work

Question #1: Is Retaliation Illegal?

First, you should know that your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment.

 Retaliation in the workplace is unlawful discrimination. Examples of retaliation include your employer: 

  • Firing you,
  • Demoting you,
  • Reducing your benefits,
  • Transferring you to a different job,
  • Reducing your overall pay,
  • Reducing your overall hours,
  • Reassigning you to a different shift, or
  • Asking you to take time off without pay.

Your employer’s policies probably require or encourage you to report the conduct. That aside, it’s a good idea to report harassment, if you are comfortable doing it.

Reporting sexual harassment will mean there is record of your complaint. It also shows the employer had notice of the problem and will trigger the employer’s duty to investigate and respond appropriately. If you are worried about talking to HR or management, you can call us to confidentially speak with a top–notch sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles about your options.

You have protection from retaliation through various California Labor Code sections. You must report the retaliation to assert your rights, though. You should also contact us right away. We can help you pursue a lawsuit against your company for retaliation, which could provide you with some compensation and possibly restore your job and benefits.

Question #2: What if I am Not Comfortable Reporting the Harassment?

Some situations are so fraught, and some companies are so indifferent or disorganized, that there is no real option of reporting harassment. Maybe you are being harassed by someone so high up at the company that you have no faith anyone will listen. Maybe there are no formal procedures for reporting harassment, and you don’t know who to talk to.

We understand. The internal complaint process is not supposed to be a “gotcha” or a trap for the complainant. It’s supposed to help fix the problem. But if you have no faith the company will respond appropriately, you should talk to an experienced Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney and learn how to document the harassment and raise internal concerns to best protect your claims. We can help you stand up to your employer in this situation.

Question #3: What Happens After You Report Sexual Harassment?

The company is required to conduct a prompt, full, and fair investigation. They must put a stop to the harassment and should appropriately discipline the harasser if wrongdoing is found. Your employer should not punish you for making a complaint. This means you shouldn’t be put off work without pay pending an investigation. You shouldn’t be transferred to an inconvenient worksite or forced to take a different work schedule to avoid your harasser. This is retaliation and it is illegal.

Question #4: Can I Record the Harassment?

You should always document harassment as soon as possible after it happens – whether in personal notes, emails to co-workers or supervisors, a notetaking app, etc. Having contemporaneous documentation is always best because memories are imperfect, particularly when you are in a traumatic situation.

Often, our clients ask whether they can record their harasser. You should know that California law requires consent from all parties to record a confidential conversation. If there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, the law prevents you from recording your harasser.

At King & Siegel LLP, we understand that sexual harassment cases are complicated and stressful because clients are forced to revisit a traumatizing event throughout their case. Our compassionate lawyers empathize with the difficult position our clients are put in if they want to pursue justice for sexual harassment, which is why we are committed to using our full resources and extensive knowledge of the law to fight for them.

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of employment law cases, including cases surrounding:

If you or a loved one has experienced sexual harassment or another employment law violation, contact us today to speak to an experienced, compassionate sexual harassment attorney. We offer a free 30-minute case evaluation and work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay us unless you win.

Choosing the Right Attorney Can Make All the Difference

We Get Results

We go toe-to-toe with employers to get you the compensation you deserve.

Free, No-Strings-Attached Consultations

All consultations are 100% free. Not sure you have a case? That's fine. We're happy to learn more about your situation and point you in the right direction.

Clients Always Come First

We understand that our clients trust us with their most personal and critical legal issues. We do not take this responsibility lightly. You are not just a number to us.

We Are Passionate About What We Do

We started King & Siegel because we believe that the same aggressive, skilled, and passionate litigation tactics we learned at big firms could and should be available to workers and consumers in their most critical legal moments—when you are harassed, assaulted, demoted, fired, defrauded, or exploited by the institutions you rely on.

Our Firm is Dedicated to Excellence

We graduated from top five law schools, including Harvard and NYU, and trained at the country's biggest and best litigation firms. As contingency attorneys, you don't pay us unless you win, which means our incentives are 100% aligned. We win if you win. It's that simple.