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1) Hostile Work Environment

A case of hostile work environment sexual harassment is established if the plaintiff establishes all of the following: 1) plaintiff was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment; 2) the harassment was based on sex;

3) the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment; and 4) the relationship between the employer and the person or persons committing the acts of harassment is sufficient to impose liability on the employer under principles of respondeat superior. (Sheffield v. Los Angeles County (2003) 109 Cal. App. 4th 153)

Female plaintiff states prima facie case of hostile environment sexual harassment under Title VII if she alleges conduct that reasonable woman would consider sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter conditions of employment and create abusive working environment. (Ellison v. Brady (9th Cir. 1991) 924 F.2d 872)

Individual supervisors may be liable for sexual harassment as ''persons'' under FEHA if they participate personally in harassment or aid or abet in harassment by failing to investigate or remedy it. (Matthews v. Superior Court (1995) 34 Cal. App. 4th 598)

Whether sexual harassment is sufficiently pervasive to create hostile work environment is determined from totality of circumstances; factors that may be considered include (1) nature of unwelcome sexual conduct, (2) frequency of offensive encounters, (3) total number of days over which all offensive conduct occurs, and (4) context in which sexually-harassing conduct occurred. (Fisher v. San Pedro Peninsula Hospital (1989) 214 Cal. App. 3d 590)

Employee established prima facie case of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment complaints from subordinate, when he was terminated by employer after reporting the complaints. (Flait v. North American Watch Corp. (1992) 3 Cal. App. 4th 467)

A hostile work environment was shown where plaintiff's supervisor made repeated sexual remarks about plaintiff over a two year period, calling her "gorgeous" and "beautiful" rather than by her name, telling her about his sexual fantasies and his desire to have sex with her, commenting on her "ass" and asking over a loudspeaker whether she needed help changing her clothes. (Draper v. Coeur Rochester, Inc. (9th Cir. 1998) 147 F3d 1104.)

A hostile environment was created by the company president's repeated requests for sex during a single meeting lasting just a few minutes. Because of his significant position of authority at the company and the close working quarters, his sexual propositions were found to be sufficiently severe to alter the terms of plaintiff's employment. (Quantock v. Shared Mktng. Services, Inc. (7th Cir. 2002) 312 F.3d 899.)

There are 2 types of Sexual Harassment cases that we can help you with.

2) Quid Pro Quo

''Quid pro quo'' harassment occurs when a plaintiff shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, that submission to sexual conduct was made a condition for receiving concrete employment benefits or for the avoiding of job detriment. (Burlington Industries v. Ellerth (1998) 524 U.S. 742)

SEXUAL BATTERY [NOT LIMITED TO THE WORKPLACE, BUT ANYWHERE]

Sexual Battery Defined:

A person commits a sexual battery who does any of the following [Civ. Code § 1708.5(a)]:

Acts with the intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact with an intimate part of another, and a sexually offensive contact with that person directly or indirectly results.

Acts with the intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact with another by use of his or her intimate part, and a sexually offensive contact with that person directly or indirectly results.

Acts to cause an imminent apprehension of the conduct described in Civ. Code § 1708.5(a)(1)or (2), and a sexually offensive contact with that person directly or indirectly results.

''Intimate part'' means the sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, or the breast of a female [Civ. Code § 1708.5(d)]. ''Offensive contact'' means contact that offends a reasonable sense of personal dignity [Civ. Code § 1708.5(f)].

A person who commits a sexual battery on another is liable to that person for damages, including but not limited to general damages, special damages, and punitive damages [Civ. Code § 1708.5(b)]. The court in an action pursuant to Civ. Code § 1708.5 may award equitable relief, including but not limited to an injunction, costs, and any other relief the court deems proper [Civ. Code § 1708.5(c)]. The rights and remedies provided in Civ. Code § 1708.5 are in addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law Civ. Code § 1708.5(e).

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE