Sexual harassment is one of the most talked-about cases worldwide. It may involve anyone, of any age. Harassment can be physical, like sexual advances or offensive remarks on one’s sexuality. A simple teasing might not be a ground for sexual harassment, but if it becomes habitual or starts to create a hostile environment, it may be deemed one.
The most common sexual harassment cases are from workplaces. It usually arises due to the blatant abuse of the power of someone occupying a higher post. The fear of losing a job or the desire for a higher position is one of the reasons one can feel they can take advantage of an employee. This is not something new for companies in California. Getting the assistance of a top Orange County harassment lawyer is essential. It is always good to know your rights in these situations.
How common is sexual harassment
In 2017, a viral movement was launched wherein several women shared their experiences with sexual harassment. The #Metoo movement opened doors for the women who had been harassed in their workplace to share their stories fearlessly. This made a lot of buzzes globally as influential personalities had been dragged into the issue.
Research shows that 54% of sexual violence involves people between 18-34. Millions of these are women from the United States. On average, one out of six American women had been victims of sexual harassment or rape. On the other hand, men can also be victims of sexual violence. One out of 33 men, or 3% of American men, experienced raped or sexual assault at least once in their life.
Sexual harassment and sexual discrimination
Discrimination and harassment based on sex differ a lot; that’s why they’re usually misunderstood. Sexual discrimination is an act of judging someone based on their gender. An example is giving a Car Show project to a male employee rather than a female because they assume that men are more interested in cars than women.
While discrimination affects promotion, task distribution, and makes one feel threatened, sexual harassment is almost the same. In harassment, an employee feels unsafe in their working environment. This case happens when employees are subjected to indecent offers. A classic example is asking an employee for sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or salary increase. Unwanted skinship is also another common type of office harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the governing body to reach out to if one experiences discrimination in the workplace. They tackle termination, unwanted transfer, deduction, and even loss of working hours. As long as the action is proven to be made against one’s gender, the commission offers assistance.
The average settlement for sexual harassment in the workplace
If sexually harassed in the workplace, the victim can be compensated depending on the severity of the offense. A lawyer will play a significant part in determining the feasibility of the case. If the issue is ruled in favor of the victim, they can get compensated for all the damages they prayed for.
On average, settlement for harassment cases is at $50,000. However, it can go higher if the victim brings the case to court. In this matter, the settlement amount could go as high as $200,000.
Aside from settlement, some states cover back and front pay. If the employee was terminated, they could claim their back compensation. The same goes for employees who experienced a pay cut or outright denial of payment based on sexual harassment. The amount can be reduced if the victim fails to claim or assert financial loss.
If the employee resigned or was terminated due to the said harassment, they can be reinstated. However, this is not ideal since the victim might have experienced trauma adversely affecting their performance. The federal government will award the victim with front pay in this case. This is calculated based on the victims’ age, how long it will take to find a similar job in a different company, length of stay, and tenure of other employees.
State laws differ. Get referrals if you are in Orange County and looking for the best lawyer. Then again, no matter who you choose, ensure that they have in-depth knowledge of your case. Also, ensure that they have an excellent track record of improving your chances of winning the case.