Sexual Harassment

Oakland Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Taking a Stand Against Hostile Work Environments

Have you witnessed or experienced sexual harassment in your workplace? You may be wondering what you can do—or even if you should do anything at all. The answer to the latter question is a firm “yes.” Sexual harassment has no place anywhere, but especially not in a place where people need to go every day to support themselves and their families.

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you should speak with the Oakland sexual harassment attorney at Benton Employment Law as soon as possible. Attorney Chambord Benton-Hayes is here to provide the compassionate and effective counsel you need while also aggressively pursuing justice on your behalf.

You and your colleagues don’t have to suffer alone. We are here for you. Call our office at (510) 650-0250or contact us onlinenow to learn how our workplace sexual harassment lawyer can help during a free case evaluation.

How Workplaces Can Foster a Culture of Harassment

Your workplace can feel like a universe totally separated from the world outside. Most jobs operate on a hierarchy system, with employees being subjected to the whims of their employers.

A good relationship with your employer can lead to:

  • Promotions
  • More opportunities
  • And more income

While a bad one can leave you stressed and worried about job security. For this reason, people are often unwilling to speak up when their boss makes an inappropriate comment or joke.

If you are in a group meeting with your boss and other employees and someone makes a distasteful joke that your boss laughs at, chances are others in the room will laugh as well, creating even more pressure to stay quiet.

You may feel like you’ll be singled out if you speak up, or that you’ll lose favor with your boss and coworkers. This is one way that harassment, including sexual harassment, develops in the workplace culture.

What are Examples of Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can take on many forms. It can be a one-off event, or it can be a reoccurring behavior. On top of that, it can happen in person, over video calls, on the phone, in emails, or on messaging platforms. Here are some common examples of sexual harassment:

  • Flirting
  • Touching someone without their consent
  • Sexual remarks/comments
  • Sexually offensive jokes
  • Talking about sex life
  • Sharing or displaying sexual images/pornography
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape

What Should I Do If I Witness Sexual Harassment at Work?

You may witness sexual harassment in the workplace but not be the victim of it. In these cases, you will need to tread carefully. The last thing you want to do is make the situation worse for the coworker being harassed.

They may have reasons for not speaking out, such as fear of losing their job or skepticism that the situation will improve even if they do complain. You can’t pressure them to file a claim, and you can’t make one on their behalf.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Speak with your coworker about what you’ve witnessed and listen to what they have to say about it. Be empathetic, don’t try to paint over their experience, and let them know you’re there to listen.
  • Interrupt instances of harassment that you witness. You can do this by injecting yourself into the conversation or telling the harasser that you need their help with something, so they get distracted.
  • Talk with coworkers you trust about the harassment and get a feel for how comfortable the rest of the staff is with this treatment. Keep these conversations focused on the harasser and not the person being harassed. You don’t want to violate their privacy or make them the subject of office gossip.
  • Document the instances of harassment that you witness, including the dates, times, and all parties involved. If your coworker decides to file a claim, your records can be of use to them.

Often in situations involving workplace sexual harassment, your company will advise you to speak with human resources, but HR works to protect the company, not you. Speaking with an attorney does not mean you are filing a claim right away, but it will provide you with a trusted resource to turn to as you figure out what to do next.

Not every instance will require legal intervention, however. Sometimes talking with HR will be enough to resolve the problem. However, you want to be sure that you have a backup plan if your HR representative cannot—or does not want to—stop the behavior.

We Are Here When You’re Ready to Take Action

In the workplace, sexual harassment can quickly start to feel normal. The longer it goes on, the more it will feel like a part of the company culture. Don’t let this happen in your workplace. Find out what you can do to stand up against sexual harassment in your workplace.

It doesn’t matter if you are ready to file a claim or are just curious about your options, the sexual harassment lawyer at Benton Employment Law is here to help. No one deserves to feel uncomfortable in their workspace. Our experienced Oakland attorney can help you understand the law and brainstorm solutions to your problem.

Call (510) 650-0250 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation with our Oakland sexual harassment lawyer today.

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Our Proven Success

  • Discrimination settlement.

    Achieved settlement on contentious matter on behalf of vehicle company and employee alleging racial and disability discrimination related to medical marijuana.

  • Employment Law Training

    Trained thousands of executives, managers, doctors, attorneys, and employees on ADA compliance, anti-harassment and discrimination, and other labor and employment law issues.

  • Settlement for Multi-national Coffeehouse Chain.

    Achieved settlement on contentious matter on behalf of multinational chain of coffeehouses and an employee alleging disability discrimination.

  • Settlement with EEOC.

    Achieved settlement on a contentious matter with the EEOC and Plaintiff-intervenor alleging disability discrimination on behalf of a healthcare organization.

  • Technology company settlement.

    Achieved settlement on a contentious matter on behalf of a technology company and a former executive.

  • United States District Court, N.D. Cal

    Successfully compelled enforcement of arbitration agreement on behalf of multinational chain of coffeehouses and an employee alleging disability discrimination.

  • Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento

    Obtained summary adjudication on behalf of insurance company on action alleging disability discrimination, racial discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process and punitive damages.

  • United States District Court, E.D. Cal.

    Obtained partial summary judgment on action alleging failure to provide reasonable accommodation, failure to engage in the interactive process, disability discrimination, age discrimination, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and punitive damages for a technology company. Likewise, opposed Plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment that was denied.

  • Exempt status from overtime wages for national retailer

    Defended manager exempt status from overtime wages for national retailer obtaining a “take nothing” Order, Decision, and Award from the DLSE.

  • Achieved settlement disability discrimination case.