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What is considered workplace sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment, as defined by the State of California Department of Justice, “refers to both unwelcome sexual advances, or other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature and actions that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment based on an employee’s sex.”

This definition includes offensive, stereotyped, or suggestive remarks about someone’s appearance, gender, or sexual orientation. That being said, not all incidents are officially recognized as “sexual harassment” according to state legislation. Isolated incidents (i.e. a one-time remark or action) and “non-severe” harassment (i.e. remarks or actions that made you feel emotionally uncomfortable but were not physically threatening) may not be considered workplace sexual harassment.

Note: Legally, you cannot be penalized for reporting sexual harassment. So even if certain comments or gestures aren’t legally considered “sexual harassment,” if they make you feel uncomfortable, say something. If it doesn’t stop, report it.

If you feel that you are in immediate danger or are victim of sexual assault call 9-1-1 right away and report the incident to your local police.

To privately discuss your workplace incident regarding sexual harassment or other Workers’ Compensation questions please call toll-free 1-877-292-4888 or visit to speak to an experienced trial attorney?