What constitutes sexual harassment under the law?

There are two types of sexual harassment under the law:

  1. Hostile work environment harassment - This type of harassment occurs in situations were there is unwelcome sexual conduct that creates and intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

  2. “Quid pro quo” harassment - This type of harassment occurs when a job or a job benefit is conditioned upon sexual favors. In the typical case, an employee is promised better treatment, such as a promotion, transfer, raise or favorable recommendation, if the employee submits to sexual advances. It could also occur when a supervisor threatens an employee with termination, demotion or loss of other job-related benefits if the employee does not agree to sexual favors.

Although sexual harassment claims are most commonly brought by females against males, sexual harassment can also occur by females against males and by members of the same-sex.

Examples of SexualLY Harassing Conduct

  • Sexual advances
  • Sexual propositions
  • Physical touching
  • Staring
  • Verbal remarks
  • Displaying offensive materials
  • Pranks

Does YOUR Employer Have to Know about the Harassment to be Responsible?

It depends on the status of the harasser. If the harasser is a supervisor, the employer is automatically responsible for the harassment, regardless of the employer's prior knowledge of the harasser's conduct. However, if the harasser is a coworker, the employer must have known, or should have known, about the harassment but failed to take steps to end the harassment in order to be responsible under the law.

What if the harassment occurred outside of the workplace?

Your employer may still be liable so long as the conduct was related in some way to the workplace.

What are you entitled to recover in A Sexual harassment claim?

  • Monetary compensation for your past and future mental suffering, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress
  • Reimbursement of all of your medical expenses
  • Punitive damages to punish the employer and the harasser
  • Injunctive relief to stop the harassment


Brock & Gonzales specializes in sexual harassment cases. If you feel you have been sexually harassed, contact us to set up a free consultation.

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