Experiencing sexual harassment at your workplace in California can interfere with your job and jeopardize your productivity. In serious cases, you might feel unsafe and afraid to go to work.
Despite your discomfort, you may wonder if the actions against you qualify as sexual harassment. Recognizing mistreatment and reporting it immediately can hopefully prevent ongoing trouble.
Quid pro quo
Quid pro quo comes from the Latin language and essentially means, “this for that.” This type of sexual harassment occurs when perpetrators use bribes or manipulation to convince you to do something. You may receive requests to perform sexual favors in return for a raise, a more desirable shift or the opportunity to advance your career.
The other aspect of quid pro quo involves retaliation if you choose not to comply with manipulative requests. Your denial might result in demotion, unsatisfactory shifts and even termination. If you receive uncomfortable requests from someone who gives you an ultimatum, you might want to look closer at the underlying intention.
Hostile working conditions
Sexual harassment can also happen in a more direct manner involving hostile working conditions. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you might experience harassment from a superior, a fellow employee, clients and even customers. Off-color jokes, inappropriate gestures and unwanted advances can all create a dangerous and hostile environment.
If you suspect harassment, thoroughly record your experiences. Include details about when the incidents happened, the participants and the impact the circumstances had on your well-being. Documenting this information can help you make a strong case for yourself if you end up choosing to file a lawsuit.