Alan Cohen Law

Sexual Harassment

Practice Areas
Sexual Harassment

San Francisco Sexual Harassment Attorney

Every person has the right to work in an environment where they feel safe, comfortable, and respected. When that right is violated through sexual harassment, it can be devastating.

If you are being sexually harassed at work, the Law Offices of Alan F. Cohen can help. We understand the trauma that comes with being made to feel uncomfortable or even unsafe in your own workplace. Our approach incorporates an approach known as trauma-informed legal advocacy. We work hard to create a safe, respectful, and compassionate space in which you will be heard. We help hard-working people navigate California’s complex employment laws to pursue justice. If you feel that you are experiencing sexual harassment on the job, turn to a law firm you can trust.

Identifying Sexual Harassment

While sexual harassment can come in many forms, California’s employment laws recognize two main types of illegal sexual harassment:

Quid pro quo This type of harassment is described by a Latin phrase meaning “this for that.” Quid pro quo harassment involves making an employee feel obligated to comply with a sexual act or behavior in exchange for receiving benefits or avoiding punishment in the workplace.

Hostile Work Environment A hostile work environment is created when an employee is subjected to harmful treatment because of sex that is severe or pervasive. The employee may feel threatened, intimidated, and frightened. Some examples of behaviors that can create a hostile work environment include:

  • Making discriminatory comments based on sex, gender, or appearance
  • Inappropriate and unnecessary touching
  • Sexually offensive jokes or comments
  • Displaying offensive pictures
  • Using crude language

Any of these or similar activities could give rise to a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment is not any one type of behavior and may take many forms. If you feel unsafe or mistreated at work because of sex, our experienced San Francisco employment law attorney may be able to help you take action.

Proving a Sexual Harassment Case

Not all abusive behavior is considered “actionable.” You must be able to show that the mistreatment is related to your sex (or other protected characteristic – for example, harassment because of a disability is also illegal). In order to file a sexual harassment claim, employees must be able to show evidence of the following.

  • The conduct was because of the employee’s sex.
  • The conduct was unwelcome by the employee.
  • The conduct was severe or pervasive enough that any reasonable person in the same position would also find the circumstances hostile, intimidating, offensive, or abusive.

Analyzing and prosecuting these cases can be extremely complicated. For example, employers often claim the harassment was “welcome” because the employee felt forced to play along or did not complain. This argument ignores the real world, in which employees may lack the power or agency to act differently. Sophisticated counsel experienced in these areas know how to navigate such issues and advocate for the employee.

We empower our clients to tell their true story and give them the support and the tools to allow their voices to be heard. Employees should seek legal representation as soon as they can. Your attorney can help you create a record of the unlawful behavior and take the steps necessary to best protect your rights. Employers have Human Resources departments to protect themselves, not necessarily to protect their employees. You should have someone on your side who can protect your interests. We can show you how to document the harassment in detail to have proof that it occurred and how to avoid missteps that can weaken your position.

Contact an Experienced San Francisco Employment Attorney Today

If you are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, get help immediately. The Law Offices of Alan F. Cohen offer free initial consultations and will help you explore your legal options, including filing a claim or lawsuit. Reach out to us today to get started.

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Call (415)984-1943


Alan F. Cohen

San Francisco Employment Lawyer

Alan F. Cohen


Alan F. Cohen

For 25 years, Alan Cohen has provided fierce advocacy and sophisticated employment representation to Bay Area employees. Mr.Cohen has recovered millions of dollars in damages, negotiated hundreds of severance and employment agreements, and protected the jobs and rights of all kinds of workers. From fast-food workers to CEOs, he has dedicated his career to protecting employees at every level. Mr.Cohen’s deep knowledge of employment law and creative, committed advocacy give his clients an edge in any dispute. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. He regularly represents and counsels employees throughout California against the biggest law firms and corporations in the world.

“I am so grateful that I reached out to Alan when I did. I was
pushed out of my last job and about to accept a measly severance
when a friend of mine referred me to Alan. I wasn’t sure if I had a
case, but after reviewing the materials I sent to him he assured me
that we could get more than what was being offered…”
Candace L.

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