In times when everyone seems to worry about the rights of sexual harassment victims, in California, and especially important cities like San Diego, more and more people face accusations they do not know how to fight. What are the rights of those accused of sexual harassment and what can they do to defend them?
We will provide the answer in the following lines. As with any legal matter, the best starting point is consulting a San Diego sexual harassment defense lawyer and find out more about the sexual harassment laws in force in California.
Knowing the law will help the accused assess whether or not their behavior could qualify as sexual harassment. Sometimes, people say and do things they do not mean, without realizing that their words or actions leave room for unfavorable interpretations. Other times, they simply confirm that the accusations were unfounded, but know exactly what behaviors their accuser has to prove and can build a strong defense.
No matter the situation, it is important to take any sexual harassment accusation seriously and seek the help of an experienced sexual harassment attorney to fight them. The latter can also explain any unclear aspects of the California laws and identify any threats to their client’s sexual harassment rights.
Sexual Harassment Rights under California Laws
In California, sexual harassment falls under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. These aim to ensure everyone’s right to a work environment free of sexual harassment and they sanction any unwelcome advances and verbal, physical, or visual conduct of sexual nature.
Actions creating a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment starting from an employee’s gender qualify as sexual harassment as well. These actions and behaviors do not have to stem from sexual desire. They may refer to the victim’s gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, or various medical conditions.
Depending on the form it takes, sexual harassment can be quid pro quo (when the harasser request sexual or related favors in exchange for other benefits like employment, raise, better work conditions), and hostile work environment harassment (behaviors related to the gender, sexual orientation, or condition of the harassed, or which could cause someone to perceive the work environment as hostile, offensive, or intimidating.
These stipulations make it clear that behaviors some people consider normal and display on a daily basis could qualify as sexual harassment for others. For example, jokes with a sexual connotation that seem fun and harmless to some may seem inappropriate and offensive to others. Hugs and small gestures some persons accept and even appreciate may be unwelcome for others and reported as sexual harassment.
Rights of those Accused of Sexual Harassment – The Importance of Working with a San Diego Sexual Harassment Defense Attorney
Given the above-mentioned law stipulations, it is very important for anyone accused of sexual harassment to take a step back and analyze their words and actions. It helps to discuss them with a sexual harassment defense lawyer and assess whether any of them could qualify as sexual harassment.
If they can, now would be the best time for the accused to revise their behavior and pay attention to everything they say or do. The good news is that no matter if the harassment actually took place the accuser will have to provide solid evidence of its occurrence. With a little attention and an experienced San Diego Sexual harassment defense lawyer on their side, the accused should be able to dismantle most of the evidence and prove their innocence.
The accuser, on the other hand, will have numerous aspects to prove, such as:
- Belonging to a protected class,
- Being the victim of unwelcome harassment due to their gender or sexual orientation
- Working in a hostile environment or losing privileges due to the harassment
- How the behavior considered harassment would qualify as offensive for any reasonable person
- The employer’s involvement in or failure to take measures to end the harassment
While there are numerous defense strategies available to anyone accused of sexual harassment, rights are better defended with the help of a San Diego sexual harassment defense attorney.
The latter can analyze every aspect of the case and reveal any inconsistencies, lack of evidence, reasons the accuser may have to defame the accused, and even procedural mistakes. Perhaps the accuser failed to:
- Inform the employer
- File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- File the complaint within 180 days from the alleged harassment
An experienced San Diego sexual harassment defense lawyer will notice any loose ends and use them to defend their client’s interests. Depending on the specifics of the case, on how serious the accusations are, and what evidence every party has available, the same lawyer may be able to help their client obtain damages for:
- Lost wages, if they were suspended from work during the investigations
- Lost job, if the accusations got them fired
- Slander or defamation, if their reputation was damaged.
Contact a Sexual Harassment Defense Lawyer in San Diego Now!
If you are accused of sexual harassment, your job and your reputation are on the line. It is of utmost importance that you contact an experienced San Diego sexual harassment defense attorney as soon as possible and defend your rights. Contact us now and schedule a preliminary consultation! It is the easiest way to find out where you stand and what measures you need to take to protect your interests.