I experienced sexual harassment outside of the workplace. Can I still file a claim?



I experienced sexual harassment outside of the workplace. Can I still file a claim?

Yes, if you were sexually harassed outside of the workplace by a coworker or someone else connected with your company, then you can still take action. Sexual harassment is not limited to an office building or traditional work environment.

Harassment can occur beyond the physical workplace, such as at company-sponsored social functions outside of normal working hours. Some examples include parties, dinners, receptions, picnics, business trips or other events employees attend because of an employment relationship. Employers may be liable for sexual harassment in such circumstances, even if employee attendance is not mandatory.

As an employee, you can file a sexual harassment claim if you have an employment relationship with the harasser or the employment relationship caused the parties involved to attend an event where the harassment took place. The unwelcome conduct has to be severe or repetitive or create a hostile work environment. 

Under California law, an employee has the right to report sexual harassment to their employer, no matter where it occurred. Sometimes the harassment begins in the workplace and continues beyond the place of employment. Whether a coworker, supervisor, manager or someone else was responsible for the unwanted behavior, the party at fault can be held accountable. 

Your first recourse should be to report the harassment to your employer, such as through human resources, your supervisor, or another manager. You are not required to report the harassment to the person who harassed you. After reporting harassment, your employer should take steps to make the harassment stop. If they do not do so, then you may have a case for legal action against your employer.

If you have experienced sexual harassment during the course of your employment, discuss your situation with an experienced San Francisco employment law attorney. McCormack Law Firm is here to listen to what happened and advise you of your rights.

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