As the end of the year approaches, workplaces across the country are starting to throw holiday parties. Although holiday parties are supposed to give employees the opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company, these celebrations can take an unfortunate turn and might be the scene of a sexual harassment incident, especially when people have consumed too much alcohol.
If you will be attending your office holiday party this year, it is important to remember that your employer’s sexual harassment policy still applies at company-sponsored events. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, your employer can be held liable for sexual harassment by non-employees in certain situations. Regardless of whether the harasser is a co-worker or not, your employer is legally obligated to “take immediate and appropriate corrective action” if they witness or are made aware of sexual harassment at the office holiday party.
Common examples of sexual harassment at office holiday parties include:
- Inappropriate visual, verbal, and physical conduct
- Making sexual comments regarding a co-worker’s appearance
- Expressing a sexual desire/fantasy to a co-worker
- Sexually explicit text messages
- Giving inappropriate or sexually suggestive gifts
- Playing games that make people feel uncomfortable
If you witness or experience sexual harassment at your office holiday party, then you need to take the following steps to report the incident:
- Write down everything you remember about the incident
- Identify potential witnesses and ask them to write a statement about what they remember seeing
- Report the incident to your company’s HR department
- Follow up on your claim to see if the company has taken steps to resolve or remedy the issue so it doesn’t happen again
If your employer fails to address your sexual harassment complaint, or if the harassment persists despite your complaint, then you need to immediately consult with an experienced employment law lawyer to discuss how to take legal action.
Burbank Sexual Harassment Attorney
Our legal team at Limonjyan Law Group is here to guide you through each step of the legal process to ensure your rights and interests are fully protected. Although the issue of sexual harassment has received increased attention in recent years, it is still a serious problem in workplaces throughout Southern California. If you have been sexually harassed at your office holiday party, you need to get in touch with our legal professionals so we can explain all of your options under the law.
To speak to a member of our law firm about scheduling your free case consultation, give us a call at (213) 377-6707 today.