Los Angeles & Orange County Workplace Superiors Sexual Abuse Lawyer

You wake up each morning with a knot in your stomach, dreading going into the office. What was once a normal workplace has become a living nightmare thanks to the abusive behavior of your boss or a superior coworker. The sexual harassment, inappropriate comments, and unwanted touching have become unbearable. You feel trapped, ashamed, and violated. This is an all-too-common scenario that plays out across workplaces in Orange County and beyond. 

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 5,581 sexual harassment claims in 2021 alone. And those are just the cases that were officially reported. Many more instances go unreported due to fear of retaliation or a lack of faith in the system.

You are not alone, and more importantly, you have rights. You’ll find a legal ally at Libra Law Firm, where our Orange County workplace sexual abuse lawyers are ready to listen to you and support you. We can provide valuable legal advice and strong representation to uphold your rights while safeguarding your career. Talk to us in a free and confidential consultation. Call Libra Law at (888) 565-3214 today.

Taking a Stand Against Your Boss’s Sexual Abuse

Dealing with sexual harassment or abuse from a superior at work can make you feel small, insignificant, and powerless. But it’s crucial to recognize that the fault lies entirely with your abuser, not you. By coming forward and holding your abuser accountable, you are taking a brave stand against injustice. This not only helps safeguard your own wellbeing but protects others and prevents future victims as well.

The impact of coming forward can be far-reaching:

  • Your abuser faces real consequences for their actions.
  • Your workplace is forced to reexamine its harassment policies.
  • You set a precedent that emboldens others to speak up.
  • You challenge the cultural stigma and silence surrounding sexual misconduct.

While this process is deeply personal, your case can have a powerful ripple effect. Get an Orange County employer abuse lawyer from Libra Law Firm to help protect your rights throughout this process.

Federal and California State Laws Against Employer Sexual Abuse

Both California and federal laws provide strong protections for employees against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from allowing any form of sexual assault or harassment to occur.

Employers have a duty to maintain a workplace free from sexual misconduct, and to take immediate corrective action if they become aware of any incidents. Any actions they take must effectively stop the harassment or assault from continuing.

Crucially, employers cannot retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment or assault, such as through termination, demotion, or creating a hostile environment.

If an employer fails to uphold these responsibilities, employees have legal grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the abuser and the company that allowed the abuse. These laws empower workers to hold employers accountable for providing a safe workplace environment.

What Do I Do If I Have Been Sexually Abused in the Workplace?

Take these important steps to report the sexual abuse by your boss and to protect yourself:

  1. Write it down. The first crucial step is to thoroughly document the incident, including details like the name of the perpetrator; the date,time, and location; a description of what occurred; any potential witnesses; and the actions you took immediately after (such as reporting it to a supervisor). Keep any relevant communication such as texts and emails. Make backups of your documentation.
  2. Report to higher-ups or Human Resources. Most companies should have established policies outlining the proper procedures for reporting and addressing sexual assault allegations. Review the reporting guidelines at your workplace and follow the procedure for raising your complaint. This creates a record of you trying to address the issue within the company.
  3. File an official complaint with the relevant state agency, which in California is the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). When filing the complaint, be sure to keep detailed records including any reference numbers they provide. The DFEH will investigate and may grant you a “Right to Sue” letter, allowing you to then pursue legal action against your employer.
  4. Consult a lawyer. Even if you’re not thinking of lawsuits now, you’ll want to ensure you are navigating the law strategically and that you’re protected from retaliation. Look for a workplace abuse attorney who has experience in cases like yours. Our employee advocates at Libra Law Firm are experienced and trusted in Southern California, and provide a free consultation.
  5. If you are in immediate physical danger or have just been assaulted, call 911 for emergency assistance. You’ll also want to seek medical care as soon as possible, as any delays can increase health risks like sexually transmitted infections. Healthcare providers can conduct necessary testing, provide preventative treatments, and document evidence of the assault.

Navigating the Legal Landscape of Workplace Sexual Abuse

Pursuing a workplace sexual abuse case can feel like an uphill battle, but with the right legal strategy, you can position yourself for success. Our experienced litigator at Libra Law will assist and guide you every step of the way:

  • Gathering evidence: From keeping a detailed record of incidents to preserving emails, texts, and recordings, collecting evidence is critical. We’ll advise you on what documentation will strengthen your case.
  • Understanding your rights: Both California and US federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibit sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. We’ll ensure you understand your rights and that they are upheld.
  • Dealing with your employer: Sadly, many employers try to downplay, cover up, or retaliate against those who report sexual misconduct. We’ll communicate with your employer on your behalf using a strategic approach.
  • Weighing legal options: Depending on your unique circumstances, you may be able to file a complaint with the EEOC and California’s DFEH, initiate a civil lawsuit, or pursue other avenues. We’ll analyze all possibilities to determine your optimal path.
  • Seeking damages: If your case is successful, you may be entitled to compensatory damages, punitive damages, back pay, and more. Our goal is to maximize your compensation.
  • Protecting your career: Many survivors fear that coming forward will derail their career prospects. We’ll fight to prevent any retaliation or negative consequences you may face.

No matter how complex your situation may be, we at Libra Law have the experience and tenacity to vigorously represent you. Our top priority is ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are upheld.

Why Hire an Orange County Workplace Superiors Sexual Abuse Lawyer?

If you’re dealing with workplace sexual harassment or abuse in Orange County, you may wonder if hiring an attorney is truly necessary. Can’t you just report it to your HR department or file a complaint directly? While those are potential first steps, having an experienced Orange County workplace sexual abuse lawyer in your corner provides invaluable benefits:

  • In-depth legal knowledge: Employment law, particularly when it relates to sexual misconduct cases, is extremely nuanced. An attorney will comprehensively understand all the applicable local, state, and federal laws to leverage in your favor.
  • Objective advocacy: With high emotions and complicated workplace dynamics involved, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Your lawyer can assess the situation impartially and advocate forcefully on your behalf.
  • Handling of evidence: Seemingly small missteps in evidence collection and documentation can potentially derail your entire case. A lawyer will ensure all evidence is properly preserved and presented.
  • Aggressive representation: From negotiating with your employer to filing complaints and lawsuits if necessary, having aggressive legal representation demonstrates you are serious and unwilling to be intimidated.
  • Deterring retaliation: Employers are strictly prohibited from retaliating against employees who report harassment, but it still occurs far too often. An attorney can take decisive action if any retaliation is attempted.
  • Maximizing compensation: An experienced litigator will fight to recover maximum damages to which you are entitled, including compensatory damages, back pay, punitive damages, and more.

While you can technically pursue a workplace sexual abuse case alone, the risks of doing so are considerable. Having an Orange County lawyer specializing in this area is your best path to a successful outcome while also protecting your rights.

Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Case

Not all lawyers can adeptly handle sensitive cases like workplace sexual abuse and harassment. When vetting potential attorneys, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Specialization: Look for a lawyer that has extensive experience representing clients in workplace harassment and abuse cases against superiors. General employment law experience is not enough – you want someone laser-focused on this unique area.
  • Litigation experience: While many cases are able to settle out of court, you’ll want an attorney with a proven track record of success actually taking cases to trial when needed. Your lawyer should be an aggressive, skilled litigator.
  • Compassionate approach: Dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse requires a lawyer who is empathetic, caring, and willing to go the extra mile for their clients’ wellbeing. Avoid attorneys who seem cold or impersonal.
  • Transparent fees: Be very wary of any lawyer being ambiguous about their fee structure and billing practices right from the initial consultation. Reputable attorneys will be upfront about costs.
  • Positive reputation: A simple Google search can reveal a wealth of information about a lawyer’s reputation. Check for client reviews, success rates, awards, and professional associations.
  • Personal connection: While expertise is crucial, you’ll also want to hire a lawyer that you feel you can truly trust as an individual. Listen to your gut instinct.

At Libra Law Firm, we take pride in meeting all of these criteria and more. When you become our client, you’re getting an Orange County attorney who lives up to the highest standards and is personally advocating against workplace abuse by superiors. 

FAQs About Orange County Workplace Superiors Sexual Abuse Lawyers

What constitutes workplace sexual abuse or harassment from a superior?

Sexual harassment or abuse at work by a superior can take various forms such as:

  • Requests for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, or other verbal or physical acts with a sexual undertone
  • Inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual assault
  • Offensive remarks about a person’s sex, body, or sexual activities
  • Displaying suggestive, pornographic, or sexually explicit images, emails, texts, and the like
  • Making decisions about employment based on an employee’s submission to or rejection of sexual conduct (quid pro quo harassment).

The key factor is that the conduct is unwelcome and offensive, creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work environment. It does not need to be motivated by sexual desire – it can also stem from hostility toward a particular gender. A single severe incident can constitute harassment.

How do I prove workplace sexual abuse or harassment occurred?

Documenting and preserving evidence are crucial for proving workplace sexual abuse or harassment occurred. These are some things you can do:

  • Keeping a detailed written log of all incidents with dates, times, locations, witnesses, and descriptions of what happened
  • Saving any emails, texts, notes, photos, videos, or other physical evidence
  • Reporting each incident through official workplace channels and keeping records
  • Getting copies of any relevant workplace policies, procedures, or employee handbooks
  • Identifying any potential witnesses to inappropriate conduct
  • Keeping records related to any adverse employment actions taken after reporting the harassment.

It’s important to have an experienced lawyer guide you through this process from the start to ensure evidence is properly collected and handled.

What damages can I recover for workplace sexual abuse?

If your workplace sexual abuse case is successful, you may be able to recover several different types of damages including:

  • Compensatory damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more
  • Back pay for any lost wages or benefits if you were fired, demoted, or had to leave your job
  • Punitive damages meant to punish the employer for egregious misconduct
  • Your attorney’s fees and legal costs
  • Reinstatement to your former job position (if you were fired or forced to quit).

The total amount of damages will depend on the specific facts of your case. An Orange County workplace sexual abuse attorney will advocate aggressively to maximize your compensation award.

Do I have to file a complaint with the EEOC or DFEH first?

In California, you have the option of filing a complaint about workplace sexual harassment or abuse with either the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). However, it is not an absolute requirement before being able to file a civil lawsuit. That said, there are some advantages to first going through the EEOC or DFEH complaint process, such as:

  • Potentially being able to reach an early settlement through the agency’s mediation program
  • Allowing the agency to investigate and make an official cause finding
  • Extending your time limits for being able to file a civil lawsuit.

Your lawyer can advise you on the best approach for your particular situation. If filing an agency complaint first is recommended, your attorney will handle that process and prepare you accordingly.

How long do I have to file a workplace sexual abuse case?

The time limits for filing a workplace sexual abuse case can vary depending on which legal avenue you pursue:

  • EEOC complaint: 180 days from the last date of harassment or abuse
  • DFEH complaint: three years from the last date of harassment or abuse
  • Civil lawsuit: Generally one year from the last date of harassment or abuse, but this can be extended if an EEOC or DFEH complaint was first filed.

These are just general guidelines, however, and the timeframes can differ based on your unique circumstances. That’s why it’s critical to consult an experienced Orange County employer sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible. They can ensure you meet all applicable deadlines and don’t inadvertently miss your window to take legal action.

What if I’m afraid of retaliation from my employer?

Both California and federal laws strictly prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report workplace sexual harassment or abuse. Retaliation can take many forms such as:

  • Firing or demoting the employee
  • Giving unwarranted negative performance reviews
  • Increasing work duties in a punitive manner
  • Spreading rumors or making defamatory statements
  • Creating a hostile work environment.

If your employer retaliates against you in any way for reporting sexual misconduct, that itself becomes grounds for a separate legal claim with significant penalties. Your lawyer will be extremely vigilant for any signs of retaliation and respond forcefully and swiftly if it occurs.

Our Libra Law attorneys understand the fear employees have about coming forward, which is why we make every effort to protect our clients from any retaliation or negative repercussions.

What if the harassment or abuse happened a while ago?

While it’s best to report workplace sexual harassment or abuse as soon as possible, the reality is that many survivors need time to process what happened before feeling empowered to take legal action. The good news is that even if the misconduct occurred months or years ago, you may still have a viable case.

The deadlines for filing a complaint or lawsuit are based on the last date that the harassment or abuse occurred. So if the inappropriate behavior was an ongoing pattern over an extended period, that can “reset the clock” in terms of time limits. Additionally, the statute of limitations may be “tolled” (suspended) in certain situations, such as:

  • If you were still employed and subjected to a hostile work environment
  • If the employer took active steps to conceal the harassment or abuse
  • If you were a minor at the time the misconduct took place.

Never assume it’s too late to take legal action without first consulting an experienced lawyer. We’ve successfully represented many clients in older cases due to these types of exceptions. The first step is to schedule a consultation so we can evaluate the specific details and timelines involved. 

Don’t Fight Alone. Let Libra Law Firm Help.

Once you make the decision to hire Libra Law as your legal counsel, you can expect a collaborative partnership every step of the way.

From our very first meeting, we’ll take the time to truly understand your unique situation through compassionate listening. We’ll then clearly lay out all the potential options available to you, explaining the pros and cons of each path so you can make an informed decision. Our role is not just to be a mouthpiece, but a guide and legal strategist.

As we move forward, you can count on us to:

  • Regularly communicate case updates in a manner that’s transparent and easy to understand
  • Quickly respond to any questions or concerns you may have
  • Handle all negotiations and interactions with your employer and their attorneys
  • Prepare you thoroughly for any depositions, hearings, or courtroom appearances
  • Tenaciously advocate for you, pulling no punches to protect your rights
  • Leverage our skills, resources, and legal network to strengthen your case
  • Persistently pursue maximum compensation for your damages
  • Provide emotional reassurance and support when you need it most.

Our clients can attest that we will be by your side as trusted advisors and legal advocates at every step of the journey. We are not interested in racking up billable hours – we only accept cases we truly believe in so we can give you our full, passionate commitment.Dealing with workplace sexual abuse is already traumatic enough. Let us handle the legal complexities so you can focus on healing and moving forward. Call (888) 565-3214 today to get started with a free, confidential consultation.

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