If you have been sexually harassed by someone from your work, school, church, tutoring service, or by members of a private business or government entities, doctor, nurses, technicians or other persons, you should speak to a sexual harassment attorney immediately. You need to speak to experienced attorneys as soon as possible to decide how to plan proceed in your case.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on your gender at your workplace or outside of work. No matter where it occurs, harassment should not be tolerated by anyone, whether the offender is a coworker or a supervisor. It can happen during regular work hours or at someone's home. By law, the victim of sexual harassment can notify the appropriate authority of the incident and take necessary legal steps to punish the accountable party. With the development of technology, harassment can be done by text, email, SNS, and other digital and non-digital means.
At the federal level, all employment claims (in all states) are brought to the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC thereafter investigates, charges, and pursues action against the employer if their investigation concludes that the claim is valid.
In California, a harassed employer may charges with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), then DFEH investigates and pursues action against the employer if their investigation concludes that the claim is valid.
If you have been sexually harassed, it is essential that you seek legal consultation as soon as the incident occurs.
Sexual Harassment in Professional Relationships
Under California Civil Code 51.9, if you were sexually harassed by someone in their business, service or professional relationship, that person can be liable in an action for sexual harassment.
Such relationship may exist where the opponent is your physician, psychotherapist, dentist, attorney-client, qualified social worker, real estate agent, real estate appraiser, investor, accountant, banker, trust officer, financial planner loan officer, collection service, building contractor, or escrow loan officer,executor, trustee, or administrator, landlord or property manager, teacher, elected official, director, producer, or any other relationship that is substantially similar to the ones on this list.
California's Sexual Battery law
This is also known as California's Sexual Assault Law and covered under California 234.4(a) PC. Sexual battery occurs when a person engages in the unwanted touching of a victim's intimate parts; while the victim was restrained; for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. What are intimate parts? Intimate parts are defined by the California code as "sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, or the breast of a female." The contact with these intimate parts can be direct skin-on-skin or indirect through the victim's clothing.
Sexual battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense. A misdemeanor sexual battery can be punished by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. A felony sexual battery can be punished by 1-4 years in California state prison and by fines of up to $10,000. If you are convicted of sexual assault or battery you may also be required to register as a sex offender in the state of California. Please read https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN§ionNum=243.4.