Sexual harassment, in any setting, can be hard to comprehend and even more difficult to report. When the harassment comes from someone whom you have been taught to both trust and rely upon, it can be even more devastating. Our police sexual harassment lawyer has the knowledge and experience to help you get justice for this harassment.
Unfortunately, just because individuals hold positions of responsibility and honor, this does not guarantee they will act appropriately. Quite often, they simply don’t.
As we have seen, sexual harassment can happen anywhere and can be committed by anyone. The law enforcement industry and its officers are not immune. Inappropriate behavior occurs both within their organizations and even between police officers and civilians.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment by a police officer, contact a police sexual harassment lawyer at Gilleon Law Firm at (800) 408-2857. Our professionals are experienced in situations like this and understand how to help you get the resolution you deserve.
A Police Officer Sexually Harassed Me
When Law Enforcement Officers Abuse Their Power
Thousands of instances of sexual harassment go unreported each year. These statistics are even higher when the perpetrator is an officer of the law. After all, we have been raised to respect and revere the police; they put their lives on the line for our safety every day.
While this is true and, as a whole, we are and should be grateful for the services they provide, not all police officers (just like all people) are well-behaved 100% of the time. Just because someone is a police officer does not mean they will not break the law.
Sometimes law enforcement officers abuse their power by taking advantage of those who, in certain situations, are simply more vulnerable.
In recent years, this fact has become increasingly clear. Unfortunately, sexual harassment of civilians by police officers is a very real issue and one that can be difficult to understand, report and manage.
Examples of Sexual Harassment by Police Officers
Many of us have been conditioned to believe that police officers are always looking out for our best interests; we comply with their demands without question. However, events across the country have proven that this is not always the case. Some police officers use the power of their badge to take advantage of those same citizens they are charged with protecting.
Examples of illegal behavior in the form of sexual harassment by a police officer can include:
- Suggestions to trade sexual favors for legal favors (like not receiving a traffic ticket or avoiding arrest). This exchange of one thing for another is known as “quid pro quo.”
- Forcible fondling of an individual who has been placed in handcuffs or under arrest.
- Taking advantage of domestic violence survivors; asking for sexual favors after protecting them.
- Police sexual assault during arrest proceedings (when an officer is working alone).
- Abuse/rape in prisons.
It is important to understand that California law prohibits law enforcement officers from having sex with those they have arrested or detained. Even consensual sex is not allowed.
Can I Sue a Police Officer for Sexual Harassment?
The simple answer is yes, you can hold a law enforcement officer liable for harassing you. The sexual harassment lawyers at Gilleon Law Firm can help determine your best options in terms of filing your complaint. They understand that both the police officer and the police department for which they work can be held accountable.
Sexual Harassment in Police Precincts
Understanding Workplace Harassment in Law Enforcement
Federal and state sexual harassment laws apply to those who work in law enforcement. In police precincts, just as in other places of business, those who are the victims of sexual harassment often question if they were actually wronged. Because we have been conditioned to “not make a scene” and “work through difficult situations,” many incidents of sexual harassment go unreported each year.
Laws Governing Workplace Safety
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment and also provides information about who actually can be held responsible for these types of behaviors. It is important to recognize that harassment can occur regardless of roles and responsibilities. According to the EEOC, “The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.”
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) protects those who work in the state, including those in police departments, from sexual harassment. They mandate sexual harassment training and also define inappropriate behavior. Examples of sexual harassment that may occur in a police department can include, but are not limited to:
- Inappropriate verbal comments, including derogatory remarks about another’s body, gender, or sexual orientation. Even making sexual jokes can be considered harassing.
- Unwelcome and/or inappropriate physical behaviors (making sexual gestures and displaying objects or pictures).
- Unwanted groping and physically blocking another’s way.
- Assault of any kind.
- Pressure to go on a date.
Some of these issues fall under the description of quid pro quo, literally meaning “this for that.” The promise of a promotion for having sex is an example of quid pro quo. On the other hand, issues like groping, sexual jokes, and comments about appearance can make a work environment uncomfortable; this is what is known as a hostile environment. Both situations are illegal.
Under the DFEH rules, the police department is responsible for taking the appropriate steps to prevent harassment (including providing training and displaying mandated materials). They are also accountable for addressing complaints.
Recoverable Damages in a Police Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
As a victim of police sexual harassment, if you file your case according to the timelines set forth by law, you may be entitled to damages.
If you are employed by a police department and believe you are the victim of sexual harassment, you should contact a well-regarded sexual harassment attorney for advice and counsel.
Our attorneys at Gilleon Law Firm can help you to recover appropriate damages in your police sexual harassment case, which can include:
- Attorney’s fees: There is reimbursement for legal costs.
- Lost wages: These include back pay and front pay (future earnings).
- Emotional distress: Compensation for issues resulting from your experience including, but not limited to, shame, sleep issues, and even marital problems.
- Punitive damages: Financial penalties designed to punish; these are most often applied to the employer.
Unfortunately, not every police department is well-managed; and even in those that are, incidents can still occur.
Handling Sexual Harassment by Police Officers
You Can File a Police Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Sexual harassment by someone in law enforcement can leave you upset, angry, and confused. Nobody has the right to treat you inappropriately, and when these unwelcome behaviors come from those we respect, trust to keep us safe, and uphold the law, the very foundation of our beliefs comes into question.
Because the harasser was a police officer, you may be unsure of how to act. Should you report the incident? And, if so — to whom? Nothing seems to make sense.
If you are either a civilian who has been sexually harassed by a police officer or an employee of a police department facing workplace harassment, speak with a sexual harassment attorney. These professionals understand the laws governing incidents like this and can help you determine your next steps.
Contact Our Police Sexual Harassment Lawyer at Gilleon Law Firm
For decades our employment lawyers at Gilleon Law Firm have been advocating for our clients, assisting them in gaining compensation in sexual harassment cases and helping to protect their rights going forward. Our professionals bring the ideal combination of experience and understanding to their clients; they can help you in filing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
- Experience: Our seasoned attorneys have a proven track record in representing victims of police sexual harassment. We believe that individuals, regardless of occupation, are accountable for their behaviors, and employers are responsible for providing a safe place in which to work. We understand both the federal and state laws regarding sexual harassment and can leverage our knowledge on your behalf.
- Approach: Additionally, we appreciate the sensitivity of the events which you experienced. Whether you are a civilian who was harassed or abused by an officer of the law or an employee in a police department who faced workplace sexual harassment, your rights have been violated. You may be anything from embarrassed and humiliated to physically injured, none of which are acceptable. Our attorneys listen with a sympathetic ear, making sure we understand exactly what happened to you.
Expert representation from knowledgeable professionals who respect you and your experience is important in moving forward. Working with lawyers who are committed to supporting you while leveraging their experience and expertise is critical to achieving the best possible outcome.
Gilleon Law Firm attorneys know that sexual harassment by police officers is a reality.
Simply because many instances are swept under the rug by police departments or not reported by those impacted does not mean they did not occur. We stand by the fact that sexual harassment by police officers, or a person in any workplace, is never acceptable. By holding accountable those who behave in this manner, we can help you recover the damages you deserve in a police sexual harassment lawsuit. We can assist in making the workplace safe for others in the future.
If you are a civilian victim of sexual harassment by a police officer or are an employee of a police department who has faced harassment resulting in a hostile workplace, contact the experienced sexual harassment lawyers at Gilleon Law Firm at (800) 408-2857 today. We will actively listen to your story and provide you advice based on our experience and past success as to how to move forward. All conversations with our attorneys are confidential, and the decision about whether or not to move forward always resides with you.