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San Jose sexual harassment lawyers

In 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received more than 61,000 complaints of workplace discrimination, and almost one-third of those complaints were regarding sex-based discrimination. 

Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination that hurts employees nationwide and is illegal under state and federal law. While the law is on your side against an employer that engages in or fails to address sexual harassment in the work environment, having a skilled advocate is vital to the success of your case. Our San Jose sexual harassment attorneys at King & Siegel LLP are top-rated counselors known for leading mistreated employees to victory while compassionately guiding them through the legal process. 

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) outlaw sexual harassment in employment settings. We mentioned that sexual harassment is sex-based discrimination, but that is the most general definition of the unlawful behavior. So, let’s take a closer look at how illegal harassment occurs.

There are two different types of sexual harassment that are prohibited by the law. Sexual harassment is unwelcome, sex-based conduct that takes place in either of the following ways:

  • Quid pro quo harassment, which involves a demand that an employee submit to an unwanted request for sexual favors in exchange for work benefits; and 
  • Hostile work environment harassment, which involves unwanted, sex-based behavior that is so prevalent or extreme that the employee’s workplace would appear hostile to a reasonable person. 

In general, your employer is automatically liable for sexual harassment in the workplace if the harassment is perpetrated by a supervisor. If your employer knew or should have known about the issue, it is also liable for harassment coming from a non-supervisory employee, contractor, client, or customer under the employer’s control. 

I don't have words to thank you the king and Siegel team worked so hard on my case during the pandemic and I am so grateful and proud of my outcome with them. They are reasonable and reliable. Those you can trust .. everytime I had a question they would answer it I recommend them 100 percent.. am so thankful for the team .. my worries and stress are over .. a huge weight over my shoulder was lifted and was able to help my family during this hard time thank you so much king and Siegel team..
Vanessa Ponce
Vanessa Ponce
March 8, 2022
I was really nervous about hiring a lawyer but Julian and everyone in her office made the process as stress-free as it could be. She is kind, reassuring and confident and that helps make the process feel less scary. she also knows what kinds of outcomes are reasonable and will explain in detail why, and has a plan to get there. I cannot recommend her more highly.
Ines Martinez
Ines Martinez
March 8, 2022
I had the pleasure of being represented by this wonderful office and their attorneys! They were very quick about answering any questions and most times explained things so well that my questions were answered before I got the chance to ask them. I had an amazing experience, everyone is kind and very attentive to your wants and needs. A case can be very stressful and they did a great job at keeping me sane and comfortable through the entire process. I recommend them 100%.
Adrianna Sells
Adrianna Sells
October 25, 2021
This in an incredibly professional and responsive firm. There was an ease about getting initial information, scheduling, and working with their talented team. While I found it to be true of everyone that I encountered here, it was Julian Burns King that really went above and beyond. Her expertise, experience, and knowledge of employment law and its many facets coupled with her empathy and compassion for her clients, is truly one of a kind. I would absolutely recommend King & Siegel to anyone in need of legal advice or representation.
Jeri Mares
Jeri Mares
October 12, 2021
Everyone at this firm was so helpful, supportive, and nice. The settlement I got changed my life and working with them was as good as a lawsuit could possibly be. I am so glad I found them for my wrongful termination suit.
Evelyn A
Evelyn A
September 25, 2021
I’m glad I trusted the team of King & Seigel to handle my case they are the definition of professionalism. They were honest and very upfront with the process and kept me informed every step of the way not to mention I’m more than happy with the results. Thank you again to the team of King and Seigel.
Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez
December 9, 2020
Julian & Elliot are very good lawyers and I am glad I trusted them with my case. When I hired attorneys, I didn't know what to look for, but I am glad I found them. They were always attentive to my case and I never felt lost even though I did not have any prior experience with litigation. Ultimately, they got a result I was happy with and I am so glad I had them to help me put this experience behind me. You would be lucky to have them in your corner.
Ryan J
Ryan J
August 5, 2020
I would like to thank this amazing duo and their staff for taking care of my friend and I. They were patient and polite, very prompt, and always professional! Thank you all so much! 💜
Yanni Boo
Yanni Boo
July 15, 2020

Examples of Harassment

Each case of sexual harassment can be quite different from the next. Unlawful harassment can include: 

  • Non-consensual touching, 
  • Use of slurs or insults based on sex or gender, 
  • Invasions of personal space, 
  • Jokes based on sex or gender, 
  • Repeated unwanted requests for dates or sexual encounters, 
  • Comments stereotyping others based on their sex or gender, 
  • Displays of graphic or offensive sex-based material, 
  • Exposure of intimate body parts, 
  • Exclusion of others because of their gender or sex, 
  • Name-calling, 
  • Explicit conversations or commentary about sexual activity, and 
  • Other offensive conduct based on gender or sex. 

Sexual harassment can be based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, or a physical condition associated with a particular sex (e.g., pregnancy). Whether your harasser engages in offensive sex-based behavior because of sexual desire or another motivation, they can be liable to you for sexual harassment.      

How to Enforce Your Rights Against Workplace Sexual Harassment

Title VII and FEHA give employees in California several options for taking legal action against sexual harassment initiated or enabled by an employer. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you can file a harassment complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), a harassment charge with the EEOC, or a civil lawsuit in state or federal court.

Only employees whose employers have at least 15 employees can file federal lawsuits or EEOC charges against sexual harassment. But employers of any size are subject to state lawsuits and DFEH complaints against sexual harassment. For this reason among others, state law is generally preferable for California employees.

Remedies a Sexual Harassment Victim Can Receive

If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you could have the right to receive the following legal relief

  • Economic damages to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses caused by the harassment, including lost wages and medical expenses; 
  • Non-economic damages to compensate you for emotional harm you have suffered;
  • Punitive damages to punish an employer or harasser for intentional conduct; 
  • Injunctive relief, such as job reinstatement, benefits reinstatement, or policy changes at work; and
  • Legal costs to cover your attorney fees and other litigation expenses. 

You can seek these remedies through a settlement or an award from an administrative hearing or court proceeding.

To maintain a successful claim and recover the relief you deserve, it is crucial that you report harassment to a supervisor or human resources at your work as soon as harassment occurs. Hiring an experienced San Jose sexual harassment lawyer at the first sign of harassment is also vital to the success of your case. A knowledgeable lawyer can protect your rights and interests from the beginning and maximize your recovery. 

Deadlines for Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit or Complaint

If you are a state or private employee, you have 180 days to file a sexual harassment charge with the EEOC (300 days if your charge is also covered by state law). And if you are a federal employee, you have 45 days to initiate a legal complaint through an EEO Counselor. Private and state employees have three years to initiate legal actions through the DFEH. 

The EEOC or DFEH can investigate and resolve a sexual harassment complaint against an employer. However, if you want to bypass an investigation by either government agency and file a lawsuit immediately, you must first file a DFEH or EEOC complaint and receive notice that you have a right to sue. Our lawyers can help you expedite this process. 

King & Siegel Can Champion Your Rights

At King & Siegel, you can find an award-winning, experienced San Jose sexual harassment attorney who guides with compassion and aggressively defends clients’ rights. Our attorneys came from top-five law schools and were trained at the best law firms in the nation. We believe that mistreated employees deserve the same sophisticated representation that big companies and employers receive, and we are respected advocates who get results on behalf of our clients. 

If you need a top-level sexual harassment attorney in San Jose, you can speak to us. And do not worry about affording our services, we work on contingency, so you only pay if we win. We are here to listen to you and protect you. Please give us a call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.  

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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.

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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.