Is my employer responsible if I am sexually harassed at a company-sponsored event outside of working hours?
An employer may be liable for sexual harassment if it occurs at an event or place outside of normal working hours, such as a company picnic, party, dinner, reception or other event in which the employees are in attendance because of an employment relationship. Even if attendance is not mandatory, employers may be liable for sexual harassment that occurs at the event.
Under California law, an employer will be liable for sexual harassment of a supervisor if the supervisor is acting within the scope of their employment when the unwelcome behavior occurs. This can also include instances when the harassment began at the place of employment and continued outside the place of employment. An employer can also be liable for the behavior of a non-supervisor if they knew or should have known that the harassment occurred and took no actionable steps to halt it, regardless of when or where the harassment occurred.
Time and place are not limiting conditions when determining employer liability if the sexual harassment occurs because of an employment relationship between the harasser and victim, or because an employment relationship caused those involved to attend the event where the harassment occurred. Sexual harassment that occurs at someone’s home or at a company event can reasonably create a hostile work environment during regular work hours or at the job site, and thus, employers can be found liable.
Employers can also be liable for sexual harassment that occurs through email, text messages or on social media.
Other Employment Law FAQs:
- According to the rules for overtime pay in California, how long do I have to file an overtime pay claim?
- Am I entitled to overtime pay?
- Are there any restrictions on what an employer can ask me during a job interview?
- Can employers assign work based on employees’ ages?
- Can I get fired for reporting sexual harassment to my employer?
- Can my employer ask about my age?
- Can my employer legitimately deduct anything from my paycheck?
- Can temps file discrimination lawsuits?
- Does an employer have to give me rest breaks?
- Does sexual harassment have to involve sex or other physical contact?
- How and when do you file an unlawful retaliation lawsuit?
- How can I prove age discrimination in my workplace?
- How do I recognize on-the-job discrimination?
- How is illegal retaliation defined?
- How is national origin discrimination defined?
- How to Report Sexual Harassment at Work?
- I am scared to report sexual harassment because I fear that I will be retaliated against by my employer. What should I do?
- I was sick and had to take a leave of absence. When I came back to work, I was fired. Is it wrong for me to be fired?
- If I was sexually assaulted many years ago, can I still bring a civil lawsuit for damages?
- If my employer violated the terms in the employee handbook by firing me, can I hold him responsible?
- Is an employee or applicant protected from discrimination because of their past pregnancy?
- Is my employer responsible if I am sexually harassed at a company-sponsored event outside of working hours?
- Is sexual battery charged as a misdemeanor or felony?
- May an employer ask an employee or an applicant if they are pregnant or if they intend to become pregnant soon?
- My employer does not pay mileage reimbursement when I use my own car for company business. What is the California law on mileage reimbursement?
- My employer does not pay overtime pay. What is the California law on overtime pay? Am I supposed to receive overtime on my commission also?
- My employer yelled and cursed at me. Can I sue him or her for harassment?
- What are my rights regarding breaks and meal periods?
- What are the federal and state laws and regulations which provide legal protections for employees?
- What are the signs of age discrimination in the workplace?
- What are the time limits for filing a sexual harassment claim?
- What can I do if I see my co-worker being sexually harassed? Can I file a suit against it?
- What can I do if I was wrongfully terminated?
- What evidence is necessary in order to help prove national origin discrimination under Title VII?
- What is age discrimination? What are some examples of age discrimination?
- What is an “at will” work state?
- What is national origin discrimination under Title VII?
- What is overtime in California? Does an employer have to pay me overtime and how much should they pay me?
- What is the ADEA?
- What is the California law for vacation pay? My employer does not want to pay me for unused vacation pay when I quit or was terminated.
- What is the difference between sexual violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment?
- What is the Wage Theft Protection Act?
- What proof of discrimination at work do I need to include in a discrimination complaint?
- What qualifies as discrimination?
- What qualifies as sexual harassment at work?
- What should I do if I was sexually harassed?
- What workplace actions are prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)?
- Who do I tell when I feel I am being sexually harassed at work?
- Who is covered by the Wage Theft Protection Act?