Is There a Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Workplace?

At Romero Law, our skilled Pasadena sexual harassment attorneys know that any sexual misconduct in the workplace can be a life-changing event for those who are impacted by the behavior.

Our employment law attorneys know that many California employees find it incredibly painful to admit they have been subjected to sexual harassment, assault, or violence at work (or elsewhere). No matter what the legal definition of behavior is, it is important to understand when it is time to speak up, and your rights when you do.

No matter your gender, sexual orientation, culture, and background, understanding the types of sexual misconduct that may occur can help empower you to help put an end to this unlawful, and all too prevalent, behavior.

What is Considered Sexual Harassment in the California Workplace?

Sexual harassment is an extremely broad term and may include any unwanted sexual advances, comments, jokes, or touching. It can also happen when an employee is solicited by a person in power to partake in sexual conduct to gain an employment advantage — like time away from work, higher wages, promotions, or other favorable treatment. It can also work the opposite way, where an employee is threatened with unfavorable treatment — like additional work, unfair scheduling, demotion, or termination — if they do not comply.

No matter how it unfolds, sexual harassment is prohibited in all California workplaces.

What is the Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a much more specific event than sexual harassment. Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person’s consent or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.

Any sexual act that occurs under such circumstances is considered sexual assault. This is against employment, civil, and criminal laws in California, and should be reported immediately.

What Can I Do If I Experience Sexual Misconduct in the California Workplace?

Experiencing sexual harassment, sexual assault, or any type of sexual misconduct in the workplace is incredibly difficult to endure, and even harder to confront. No matter who the perpetrator is, or why the misconduct occurred, this is not your fault.

If you would like to take legal action against your employer for the sexual misconduct that occurred while you were at work, we can help.

Contact our experienced Los Angeles County employment law attorneys to discuss your legal rights and options to hold your employer accountable for your unlawful treatment, so you can get the help you need to recover.

Our employment law firm and bilingual staff offer services in both English and Spanish and are available now to discuss your case during a free consultation by calling 626-396-9900 or contacting us online.

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