Many people perceive sexual harassment as being most associated with the workplace and directed toward women. However, it can occur to anyone for any reason. In fact, according to a recent study from Stop Street Harassment, the most frequent location reported for sexual harassment by both women (66%) and men (19%) is a public space.
Any person adversely affected by sexual harassment may have grounds for litigation and the possibility of pursuing criminal charges. If you want to file a lawsuit against your perpetrator or an enabling party, our San Jose sexual harassment lawyers at Greenberg Gross can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Why Should You Consider Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
Sexual harassment survivors may be entitled to recover compensation from the offender or another liable party through civil action for suffered harm. Damages you could recover include but are not limited to the following:
- Medical and psychological care, including therapy and counseling
- Lost earnings related to your harassment
- Emotional anguish and distress
- Loss of life enjoyment/quality of life
- Hiring, reinstatement, or promotion
- Changes in the business’ policies or practices
- Punitive damages for malice or oppression
If you were harassed, you might not have incurred any physical injuries in the traditional sense. However, you may have still experienced a potentially traumatic personal invasion that caused you significant anguish for a long time. Also, you may have been threatened with consequences if you refused to submit to a harasser’s demands.
In addition to compensating you for your losses, publicly pursuing legal action can encourage others to come forward and seek restitution. Speaking out against perpetrators and those who enable them despite potential repercussions is courageous. Doing so can prevent further harassment and encourage others to stand up for themselves.
Determining Liability of a San Jose Sexual Harassment Case
According to the abovementioned national study, 42% of female and 27% of male respondents who reported experiencing sexual harassment most frequently listed “across lifetime” perpetrators as being “strangers in person.” In addition to individual perpetrators, sometimes businesses, schools, religious institutions, and other parties can be liable for enabling harassing behavior.
As noted, this conduct can occur in public spaces, such as stores, malls, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and gyms. If you are pursuing a sexual harassment claim against a perpetrator or another liable party, our San Jose sexual harassment attorney can help you prove the following essential elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: The person who committed sexual harassment or other liable party owed you a duty of care. For example, the perpetrator had a responsibility not to inflict harm on you or make you a target of wrongdoing. Also, a business or other entity must ensure its environment is not conducive to behavior that interferes with your well-being.
- Breach of duty: The perpetrator violated their duty of care, meaning they did not fulfill their obligation to you. A perpetrator would have directly breached their responsibility to you by committing sexual harassment. In another example, a breach could occur if a business or school failed to enact or reinforce policies or procedures against sexual harassment.
- Causation and damages: There must be a direct link between the perpetrator or liable party’s breach of duty or the wrongdoing you say inflicted harm upon you. As a result, you must show you suffered from losses that can be quantified and sought under civil law. These damages can include those mentioned above.
What Is Sexual Harassment and When Can I File a Lawsuit?
If you feel someone has sexually harassed you, it is worth taking a closer look at their behavior. However, general factors can determine if an alleged offender is liable. Sexual harassment is typically characterized by unwanted or inappropriate conduct based on a status, such as sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and many more.
However, harassment is not necessarily motivated by sexual desire or attraction. It can also be non-sexual and based on age, race, religion, nationality, or disability. In fact, California’s sexual harassment laws are closely related to the state’s discrimination laws. Sexual harassment is also considered a form of sex discrimination.
Common forms of sexual harassment include the following:
- Making unwanted and unprovoked sexual advances or solicitations
- Leering or making sexual gestures or catcalling
- Making sexually explicit or degrading comments, such as those directed at a person’s body, clothing, appearance, sexual activity, etc.
- Engaging in unwanted touching or restricting another’s movements, such as locking a door
- Offering advantages in exchange for sexual favors
- Threatening or engaging in retaliation after a negative response to a sexual invitation or advance
If you feel any of the above conditions apply, you can consult with an attorney who can confirm you have a solid compensation claim for sexual harassment.
Quid Pro Quo San Jose Sexual Harassment Claims
In English, the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” translates to “this for that” or “something for something.” Moreover, in this time of harassment, sexual favors are solicited or demanded from another to “earn” some advantage or benefit. Conversely, a perpetrator could threaten another with retribution for refusing to yield to their sexual advances.
If you dismissed a perpetrator’s sexual demands and subsequently became the target of adverse action, this action might be enough to initiate a quid pro quo sexual harassment lawsuit.
Hostile Environment San Jose Sexual Harassment Claims
A hostile environment is one in which harassment is so severe and pervasive that it is part of the established culture. Man times, multiple parties are subject to harassment, including unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any conduct of a sexual nature that another person initiates.
There are many ways you may have experienced sexual harassment, including by one or more strangers in public, in a hostile environment, or through an offering of benefits for sexual favors. In any case, you might be able to pursue a lawsuit against the perpetrator(s) or other liable parties, such as businesses and academic institutions.
Getting Help from a San Jose Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual harassment should never be tolerated. Gone are the days when survivors were forced to endure shame, and pursuing justice was highly discouraged to protect offenders.
If you are considering filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, call Greenberg Gross for a free consultation and learn how our law firm can protect your rights and explore your legal options.