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    What to Do if You Experience Workplace Sexual Harassment

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Physical touching and hints of a promotion in exchange for sexual favors are a few examples of sexual harassment. While this type of directed harassment is more obvious, sexual harassment also refers to subtle behavior like dirty jokes, unwanted requests for a date, and the presence sexual images in the workplace. If management ignores a hostile work environment, an employee may have grounds for a sexual harassment claim. 

    Unfortunately, many employees don’t report sexual harassment because they fear losing their jobs. As this video explains, an employee should first confront the harasser or talk to the human resources department at the first sign of sexual harassment. If this request is ignored, then the employee should investigate legal remedies.

    State and federal laws both ban workplace sexual harassment. If you’ve become the victim of unwanted sexual advances, contact the Advocacy Center For Employment Law of San Jose at (408) 600-1972. 

    What Is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

    Last updated 5 months ago

    As the most commonly recognized form of sexual harassment, quid pro quo sexual harassment involves situations in which an employee’s job status, benefits, or salary is contingent upon providing sexual favors to a superior. Not only does quid pro quo harassment violate labor law, but also it is often considered a criminal law matter. Victims of quid pro quo harassment can possibly collect compensatory damages, including medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and future economic losses.

    If an employee files a quid pro quo sexual harassment suit, then it is the employer’s responsibility to prove that the harassment didn’t occur or that it occurred for non-discriminatory reasons. Employers can be held strictly liable for quid pro quo sexual harassment because supervisors and managers legally act directly on behalf of their employers. The most common examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment are when a superior offers a promotion or raise in exchange for sexual act or if rejection of sexual advances leads to a demotion or job loss.

    To speak with a sexual harassment lawyer in San Jose, contact the Advocacy Center For Employment Law at (408) 600-1972. We provide personal, respectful representation to each of our clients.

    Identifying the Signs of Age Discrimination

    Last updated 5 months ago

    During the recession, people across the country faced layoffs, reduced hours, and difficulty finding new work. However, layoffs disproportionately affect older workers, who find it more difficult to adjust to a new line of work and who employers might assume don’t need the job because they are closer to retirement age. Employers typically don’t cite age as a reason to layoff an older employee, but there are some subtle signs that someone has become the victim of age discrimination.

    Biased comments

    Comments made about an employee’s age are the most obvious signs of age discrimination. Some employers make comments about an employee’s age—probing him or her about retirement plans, stating that they would like the company to have a younger image, or assigning a nickname based on age. If an employer says anything along these lines, it’s crucial for the employee to document the comment, date, time, and place. In addition, the employee should write down any possible witnesses who overheard the comment.


    A subtler sign of age discrimination is treating younger employees differently than older ones, under the same circumstances. For example, if the company states that they have to lay off workers for budgetary reasons, it’s important to note whether or not the layoffs applied equally to workers of all ages, especially if less-qualified, younger employees were kept on. Another sign of age discrimination is when an older employee is passed over for a promotion in favor of a younger, less-qualified employee.


    If a boss gives the best sales leads, job assignments, or equipment to younger employees, this could be a sign of age discrimination. At the same time, employers may discriminate against older employees by excluding them from key meetings or office social events.

    If you recognize any signs of age-based discrimination, don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting with the Advocacy Center for Employment Law. We focus in areas of San Jose employment law, including sexual harassment and discrimination. You can reach our office by dialing (408) 600-1972.


    An Overview of Pregnancy Discrimination

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Of the various types of workplace discrimination that have been practiced by employers over the past several decades, pregnancy discrimination has been one of the most egregious offenses. Every day, female workers or applicants are let go or treated unfairly during the application process because they are pregnant or believed to be pregnant, a sad fact of many workplace environments that hinders countless women seeking to support themselves and achieve their career dreams.

    What is Pregnancy Discrimination?

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) makes it unlawful for an employer to treat an applicant unfavorably on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical conditions. An amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the PDA is a federal statute by which all employers of 15 or more workers must abide.

    Pregnancy-Related Harassment

    Some employers try to deter women from becoming pregnant through a variety of means, ranging from the institution of incentives not to get pregnant to verbal threats. Cases in which employers make work environments so hostile to pregnant women that they will leave “of their own volition” are also common, and usually classify as pregnancy discrimination.

    Pregnancy and the Right to Temporary Disability

    If your pregnancy or a medical condition you experience as a result of your pregnancy renders you temporarily unable to perform your job, you are legally entitled to the same short-term reassignment, leave, and other benefits that temporarily disabled employees receive.

    Maternity and Parental Leave

    Depending on the makeup of your workplace, your employer may be legally bound to allow you 12 weeks of paid or unpaid maternity leave following the birth of your child. This is a right that is given workers so that they can care for and spend time with their newborn children, and no employer should try to prevent you from enjoying it.

    Have you recently experienced pregnancy discrimination or are you currently being treated unfairly at work or by a potential employer because you are pregnant? To schedule a consultation with an experienced and passionate employment law advocate in San Jose, call the Advocacy Center for Employment Law at (408) 600-1972. Senior litigator Steven Pail Cohn and his team will work tirelessly to ensure that your legal rights are upheld in the face of the discrimination you have experienced.

    Steps to Take If You're Facing Workplace Sexual Harassment

    Last updated 6 months ago

    Sexual harassment can make a person feel anxious, uneasy, and scared, affecting a victim’s work performance, quality of work life, and mental health. No man or woman should be subject to unwanted advances in the workplace; but unfortunately many individuals are targeted by employers or fellow employees. If someone you work with has been harassing you, take the following steps to put an end to the harassment and ensure that your harasser is reprimanded in accordance with employment laws governing sexual harassment.

    Confront Your Harasser

    In order to press sexual harassment charges, you and your lawyer must be able to prove that the conduct carried out against you was unwelcome. Something that will help you with your claim is evidence that you informed your harasser that his or her advances were unwelcome. Confronting your harasser on your own can be difficult, and is something that you should do only if you feel comfortable. Alternatively, you can confide in an employer or coworker you trust and see if he or she will assist you in confronting your harasser.

    Notify Your Employer

    If the harassment continues after you make explicitly clear to your harasser that it is unwelcome, the next step you should take is to notify your employer. Your employer should then take steps to try to stop the harassment.

    Seek Legal Counsel

    If your employer takes no such steps or he or she is responsible for harassing you, then it may be best to seek external assistance. Set up a consultation with an employment law professional, and bring any notes that you took concerning the harassment with you. If you decide to press charges, your employment law advocate will be able to guide you through the process.

    Steven Pail Cohn has actively worked with victims of sexual harassment in the San Jose area for decades. His human rights-oriented organization, The Advocacy Center for Employment Law, was founded to ensure that individuals who experience unfair treatment in the workplace have a voice. If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work and your employer has failed to take satisfactory steps in an effort to protect you, call (408) 600-1972 to speak with an experienced employment law advocate today.


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