Harassment is unwelcome conduct of an unlawful nature. If the conduct is so severe or frequent that it affects the injured party’s ability to do her or his job, this is called a “hostile work environment.” Harassment can include unwanted sexual advances, jokes, inappropriate touching, or it can be visual, such as inappropriate photographs in the workplace.  

At the Dolan Law Firm, we have handled many sexual harassment claims. If you experienced any unwanted acts especially in the workplace, contact us today for a free consultation: 415-421-2800.

Have You Been Harassed At Work?

Harassment can take many forms.

  • When a supervisor, manager or employer demands sex in return for a raise, continued employment or promotion, this is one form of sexual harassment;
  • Off-color jokes, pin-up photographs of naked men or women, internet pornography on work computers and unwanted touching are all other examples of sexual harassment;
  • Racial slurs and race based jokes  are another example of harassment.

The law allows someone in a protected class (age, sex, disability, race, sexual orientation) to sue a harasser as well as the company/employer. If you have suffered from sexual harassment or any other kind of harassment in the workplace, contact the San Francisco harassment attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm online or by calling 415-421-2800. We are here to protect your rights in the workplace.

Experienced Employment Lawyers with One Of the Largest Verdicts on Record

Harassment attorney Christopher Dolan and the Dolan Law Firm obtained one of the largest recorded verdict in employment discrimination in the U.S. We won a verdict of $62 million for two Arab-American employees who suffered discrimination and harassment at FedEx Ground.

When the Dolan Law Firm agrees to take your case on, we will handle it with skill, care, and compassion. Mr. Dolan was chosen California Employment Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine. We were selected as Best in the Bay by San Francisco Gate and named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California.

Can a Company be Sued for Harassment?

Under California law, an employer is obligated to take all steps necessary to prevent harassment. Usually, this involves having a corporate anti-discrimination policy, a harassment policy, and supervisor training. If an employer does not have a policy or program to prevent harassment, it may be held liable for failing to take steps to prevent harassment.

If an employee WHO IS NOT A SUPERVISOR engages in harassment, the company must have actual knowledge of the harassment before it can be held liable for damages. In such situations, the conduct must be so open and obvious that the company should have known about it.

On the other hand, if the employee reported the harassing conduct to a supervisor and then it happened again, the company can be held liable for damages. The company should have taken prompt and sufficient action to stop further harassment. If nothing was done or if too little was done, the company becomes liable for the conduct of its employees.

If the employee IS A SUPERVISOR, MANAGER, OWNER, DIRECTOR or OFFICER of the company, the company is automatically liable for harassment. That is because the company’s eyes and ears are its supervisors and managers. If they engage in unlawful conduct, it is presumed that the company knows about it.

What to Do if You Are Being Harassed

Many companies have a reporting structure in place for complaints of discrimination and/or harassment. Look in your employee handbook or at the company’s sexual harassment policy (if there is one) to see who is designated to receive complaints.

Follow your company’s reporting requirements whenever possible. If the harasser is the one you should be reporting to, report it to HR or the harasser’s supervisor.

ANY REPORTS SHOULD BE IN WRITING and you should keep a copy for yourself. Keep notes of whom you spoke to, when and what was said. Identify any witnesses.

If the harassment is so severe or physically dangerous that no reasonable person would consider continuing working there, then you may quit. This is called “constructive termination” and you can seek damages for lost wages.

However, employees cannot quit and sue after a single incident of harassment. Employees are expected to use all available means to resolve their employment issue. Only if that fails and the harassing behavior continues can the employee quit and seek compensation.

The law protects people from being retaliated against for exercising their rights in the workplace, including the right to not be exposed to harassment.

Do You Know Someone Who is a Victim of Workplace Sexual Harassment?

Often, it is hard for others to speak up. Sometimes employees do not understand that what they experience is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can occur in any situation. For example, if there are several people around and they seem to condone the inappropriate jokes of a colleague, this may feel like acceptable behavior. However, this is not the case. This type of situation may cause people who have suffered sexual harassment to feel unworthy and scared to share their stories. 

What they need to know is that sexual harassment is inadmissible and that it is possible to file a sexual harassment claim against the perpetrator. Sexual harassment can have long-term effects on someone’s psychological state, and it is important that all types of this conduct are reported.

If your colleague shares with you that they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, talk to them about the situation and provide them with the information we have provided you. It is important to note that sexual harassment can be either physical or verbal. Such examples may include lewd and/or sexually explicit comments and/or unwanted touching. If you or someone you know has experienced any form of sexual harassment, you may call upon an experienced lawyer so that they can provide you with the necessary resources on how to deal with these unlawful acts.

Filing a Harassment Complaint

In California, if you have suffered harassment based upon your membership in a protected class (such as age, race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, etc.), it is a violation of your rights under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. 

Before you bring a lawsuit, you must first file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), generally within one year of the incident, to pursue legal action. You must file a complaint before you can file a lawsuit. 

If you need assistance in doing so, contact us for a free consultation so we can guide you through the process. With many years of experience, we know how to defend those who have suffered sexual harassment, no matter the situation. Our sexual harassment lawyers in San Francisco are here for you and will do whatever it takes to protect you. For more information, listen to the clients we have helped!

Contact our Harassment Lawyers

If you have suffered from acts of harassment or discrimination because of your gender, sexual orientation, age or contractor status, the employment attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm are dedicated to helping you. Whether you have been subjected to verbal or physical harassment, our sexual harassment lawyers can help. 

We know that reporting sexual harassment may have consequences, which is why we will do everything we can to protect you. If your employer fails to investigate your claim and your situation has been left unchanged, contact us online or call 415-421-2800 for a free case evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions


What types of discrimination cases can an experienced San Francisco attorney handle?

Workplace harassment comes in many different forms, including:

  • Racial Discrimination;
  • Age Discrimination;
  • Gender Discrimination;
  • Disability Discrimination.

Law firms across the San Francisco Bay Area can assist you with your claim, ensuring people who suffered harassment are protected and that they receive justice. No matter the situation, if you are made uncomfortable at work, especially by upper management, there are state laws in place to protect you. Contact us today if you had or are currently experiencing any type of workplace harassment and we will pair you with a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco from the Dolan Law Firm.

Can a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco help me use the Civil Rights Act to win my case?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This act is widely cited as protection against unlawful discrimination during the hiring process on the basis of sex, gender, and race. A sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco can fight your fair employment claim by instilling Title VII in The Civil Rights Act to ensure you are appropriately compensated for your traumatic experience. Contact us today so we can advocate on your behalf!

How can a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco fight illegal quid pro quo?

Quid pro quo is a Latin term that means “something for something.” It refers to a favor or advantage in exchange for gifts, sexual favors, or something else. If you have been offered goods or services unethically and you feel that your job is at risk, a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco can protect you and fight for your rights. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is unfair and demeans individuals who are trying to achieve higher roles in their company. If you have ever experienced illegal quid pro quo, call an employment law attorney or sexual harassment attorney. People who have suffered sexual or workplace harassment deserve to be heard and should be entitled to a fair settlement. 

What type of legal advice can I receive from a sexual harassment attorney in San Francisco?

A sexual harassment attorney is not just skilled in harassment claims, but can also give advice on privacy policy adherence, federal law, severe or pervasive stalking, offensive online rhetoric, and more. Name your injustice and an attorney can either help you or direct you toward a trusted colleague who can. If you are in need of assistance, call upon the Dolan Law Firm to learn more about your legal options.