Los Angeles #MeToo Lawyer
A statement that invokes solidarity, suggests empathy and conveys strength in numbers.
A statement that has fueled a modern-day revolution.
In October 2017, the actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” And people did.
The phrase “me too” was first coined in 2006 by Tarana Burke, a survivor of sexual assault who wanted to help others who had suffered – particularly girls of color from low income communities – discover a way to heal.
#MeToo quickly became a rallying cry for survivors everywhere to emerge from the shadows where others may have preferred they stay hidden.
According to the #MeToo movement’s website, over 17 million women and counting have reported a sexual assault since 1998.
If you found yourself saying “me too” as well, then read on to learn how a #MeToo lawyer can help you hold perpetrators accountable and support you through what others fear can be an isolating experience.
What is sexual violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment?
Sexual violence is an umbrella term that covers crimes of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Sexual assault involves sexual contact or a sexual act that happens without the consent of the victim. Examples include attempted rape, unwanted sexual touching, making a victim perform sexual acts and rape.
Sexual harassment involves unwanted sexual advances, demands for sexual favors and unwelcome sexual remarks. It can also include offers to exchange sexual acts for promotions, pay raises or other employment perks.
Under California state and federal law, sexual harassment, a type of discrimination on the basis of sex, gender or sexual orientation, is unlawful in the workplace when the behavior affects one’s employment, interferes with one’s performance or creates a hostile environment. For sexual harassment to be actionable in California, it must be severe or pervasive. Illegal sexual harassment does not have to lead to one losing their job, and one does not have to be the individual being harassed to be affected by the unlawful behavior. What’s more, the harasser does not have to be the opposite sex as the victim.
Examples of sexual harassment include
- Unwelcome touching
- Lewd, sexual or sexist jokes or remarks
- Lewd, sexual or sexist posters or images in the workplace
- Suggestive text messages, notes, letters or emails
- Inappropriate sexual gestures
- Whistling or staring in a sexually suggestive manner
- Making inappropriate comments or asking offensive questions about someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual history
- Sharing sexual stories, movies or images (such as pornography) with co-workers
Facts and statistics about sexual harassment and sexual assault
A recent national online survey reported 81 percent of women said they had experienced sexual harassment or assault.
- 1 in 2 women said they had experienced unwelcome sexual touching.
- More than 3 in 4 women said they had experienced verbal sexual harassment.
- More than 1 in 4 women said they had survived sexual assault.
- Women reported sexual harassment happens most in a public space (66 percent of women), followed by their workplace (38 percent of women).
- For those who said they had experienced sexual harassment and assault, 57 percent of women said they had experienced it by age 17.
- More than 1 in 3 women said they had experienced being physically followed.
- Almost 1 in 3 women said they had experienced unwanted genital flashing.
- 40 percent of women with disabilities said they had experienced sexual assault, compared with 23 percent of women without disabilities.
- Men in socially marginalized groups, e.g., Hispanic men, men with disabilities, men who live below the poverty line, gay and bisexual men and men who live in rural areas, were more likely to say they had experienced sexual harassment and assault.
- Sexual harassment and assault caused all survivors to feel anxiety or depression and to change their routine.
Timeline of the #MeToo movement
For some, the #MeToo movement seemed as if it had sprouted overnight. For most, they had been waiting for this type of reckoning their entire lives.
Below are just a sample of the high profile cases in the #MeToo movement’s first year.
In October 2017, the actress Ashley Judd, along with many other women, accused then-Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. The allegations included illegal behavior that spanned decades.
In the first major celebrity trial of the #MeToo movement, actor Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman. This was after dozens of women had accused him of the same act.
NBC fired longtime “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer after the network received allegations about Lauer’s sexual misdeeds.
Time magazine called the women behind the #MeToo movement its 2017 Person of the Year.
The #MeToo movement in politics
The #MeToo movement continues to have a huge influence in politics, where women have come forward to allege sexual misconduct against many political leaders. This includes at least 22 women who have alleged sexual misconduct including rape, assault and harassment against Trump.
Most recently, women have come forward to share their stories of attempted rape by Judge Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court. Following Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s moving testimony, women have been inspired to publicly share personal stories of rape, assault and harassment to help raise public consciousness about how frequently sexual violence occurs and goes unreported.
What can a #MeToo lawyer do for me?
Women who have come forward to share their experiences of sexual violence have been heroes of the #MeToo movement. Their courage to bring lawsuits has resulted in the termination or resignation of men in the entertainment industry, politics, business, among others. By requiring businesses to hold their employees responsible for their reprehensible actions, these brave women have undoubtedly prevented thousands of would-be acts of harassment and sexual violence.
While the loudest voices in the #MeToo movement may have come from celebrities or those who levied allegations against a famous person, the numbers show all types of people from all over the country have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault.
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work and filed a claim with your employer that resulted in no corrective action, then you may wish to talk with an employment attorney to determine whether or not you have a legal claim.
Under California law, employers are liable if a supervisor or manager sexually harasses a worker. Employers are also liable if a co-worker or customer sexually harasses an employee, when that employer is aware or should have been aware of the behavior and no corrective action was taken. In all situations, the harasser is personally liable for their illegal acts.
It is also illegal if an employer retaliates against you after you file a discrimination or harassment complaint. Some forms of retaliation include wrongful termination, an unwanted transfer to another department, a demotion, job shift reassignment or salary decrease. In these circumstances, you may consider contacting an attorney to determine your legal rights and options.
Strong Advocates are #MeToo lawyers
Your job and career provide you stability in life. When someone takes that stability away, you need a Los Angeles employment attorney at Strong Advocates on your side to demand respect, fairness and compensation. The attorneys at Strong Advocates handle all types of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the workplace claims.
The executive director of Strong Advocates, Betsy Havens, has worked tirelessly throughout her career to protect the rights of workers who have been treated unjustly. Her exhaustive litigation experience has led to life-changing results for the people she has served.
“My clients are the real heroes here,” says Havens. “By having the guts to come forward and contact us, they help make sure that other women are not subjected to the kind of sexual violence and treatment they were forced to endure at work. I see my job as taking horrendous, reprehensible situations and making the best of them. I do my best to help my clients reconnect to their power and strength as they stand up for and exercise their rights.”
At Strong Advocates, our highly skilled and experienced legal team will work hard to defend your rights in the workplace so you can reclaim your life – and nothing will get in the way of that guarantee. We recognize how essential it is to respond when someone infringes on your rights. When we defend you, we use our extensive skills and experience to secure astonishing outcomes. With Strong Advocates on your side, you are guaranteed to have a talented and honorable team dedicated to assisting you in regaining the respect you deserve.
Call now for a free consultation. We will treat you with respect. We will listen. We will right the wrong.