Sexual Harassment Law Attorney Serving the San Francisco Area

Helping Californians Maintain a Safe Workplace Environment

If you are facing sexual harassment at work, you don’t have to go through it alone. Our San Francisco sexual harassment lawyers at Nabati Law are here to help you pursue justice and hold the perpetrators accountable. We have a deep understanding of the law and the impact that sexual harassment can have on victims.

We have a successful track record of helping victims of sexual harassment protect their rights in San Francisco and throughout California. Find a sexual harassment law attorney in a city near you:

Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Orange County, San Diego

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Los Angeles #1 Sexual Harassment Law Firm

Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorneys in San Francisco

At Nabati Law, we are committed to ensuring that every worker has the right to a safe, harassment-free work environment. Our sexual harassment lawyers in San Francisco have the experience and expertise to help you:

  • File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)
  • Gather evidence to build a strong case
  • Hold the perpetrator/employer accountable
  • Obtain the justice and compensation you deserve
  • Prevent employers and perpetrators from victimizing others in the future


Looking for guidance on how to write a sexual harassment complaint letter? Check out our helpful sexual harassment complaint guide for tips and a sample letter.

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What Constitutes Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not always obvious and can take many forms. It can be overt or subtle, but it is never acceptable. 

In California, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Some examples of workplace sexual harassment may include:

  1. Verbal harassment: This includes unwanted sexual advances, comments or jokes, sexually explicit questions, or requests for sexual favors.
  2. Physical harassment: This includes unwanted touching, grabbing or groping, sexual assault, or brushing up against someone in a sexual manner.
  3. Visual harassment: This includes displaying or distributing sexually explicit images, such as pornography or sexually suggestive pictures or videos.
  4. Sexual coercion: This includes pressuring someone into sexual activity, making threats or promises in exchange for sexual favors, or using an individual’s job security or position of power to obtain sexual acts.
  5. Hostile work environment: This occurs when the behavior of an individual or group of individuals in the workplace creates an environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive, such as making sexually explicit or degrading comments, gestures, or actions.
  6. Retaliation: This includes punishing or taking adverse action against an employee who has reported or complained about sexual harassment, such as demotion, termination, or negative performance evaluations.

It’s important to note that sexual harassment can take many different forms, and the above examples are not an exhaustive list. Any behavior that is unwelcome, sexual in nature, and interferes with an employee’s ability to perform their job may be considered sexual harassment under California law. 

Courts typically require a pattern of behavior for sexual harassment claims, but a single severe or physical act can still be considered unlawful. Similarly, a series of incidents that are not severe on their own can add up to a hostile work environment that violates the law. Sometimes, in California, even a single incident of sexual harassment may be considered illegal under California law if it is severe enough to create a hostile work environment. 

Sexual harassment can occur in any workplace setting and can be perpetrated by anyone, including a supervisor, coworker, or client. Under California law, employers are responsible for taking steps to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace and must provide a safe and harassment-free working environment for their employees.

If you have experienced any form of sexual harassment in your workplace, you have the right to take legal action. Speak with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer today.

Laws Against Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment laws protect employees from unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 governs sexual harassment for larger employers, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act provides more extensive protections for all workers.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. This includes prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace.

Under Title VII, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination and is therefore illegal. The law applies to employers with 15 or more employees, as well as to labor unions, employment agencies, and state and local governments.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits sexual harassment in all employment settings, including hiring, promotions, terminations, job assignments, and other terms and conditions of employment. It applies to all employers in California, regardless of the size of the business.

The California Labor Code requires employers to provide a workplace that is free from sexual harassment and prohibits retaliation against employees who report harassment or participate in investigations related to harassment claims.

Under California laws, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when it:

  1. Explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment
  2. Interferes with an individual’s work performance
  3. Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment


California employers are required to take steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including providing sexual harassment prevention training to all employees and establishing policies and procedures for reporting and investigating harassment claims. Employers must also respond promptly and effectively to reports of harassment and take appropriate disciplinary action against employees who engage in harassment. 

California has several laws that require employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training to their employees. These laws include:

  1. California AB 1825: This law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees every two years.
  2. California SB 1343: This law expands the requirement for sexual harassment prevention training to all employers with five or more employees. It requires employers to provide at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all non-supervisory employees and at least two hours of training to all supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position and once every two years thereafter.
  3. California AB 2053: This law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide additional training to supervisors on the prevention of abusive conduct (also known as “bullying”) in the workplace. This training can be included as part of the sexual harassment prevention training required by AB 1825.


Under these laws, employers must provide interactive training that includes information about what constitutes sexual harassment, how to prevent harassment, how to report harassment, and the remedies available to victims of harassment. Employers must also maintain records of the training and ensure that all employees receive the required training within the specified timeframes.

Have You Been Sexually Harassed At Work?

It is difficult to determine the exact number of women who have been sexually harassed at work in California, as many cases of sexual harassment go unreported. However, studies and surveys have provided some estimates of the prevalence of sexual harassment in the California workplace.

According to a survey conducted by the California Women’s Law Center in 2019, 81% of California women respondents reported experiencing sexual harassment or assault at some point in their lives, and 35% of the respondents reported experiencing sexual harassment or assault in the workplace.

Another survey conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  found that California had the highest number of sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC between 2010 and 2018, accounting for 14% of all charges filed nationwide.

Additionally, a 2018 report by the California Senate Office of Research estimated that between 25% and 85% of women in California experience sexual harassment at work at some point in their careers.

These numbers suggest that sexual harassment is a significant problem in California workplaces and highlights the importance of prevention efforts and enforcement of existing sexual harassment laws.

In California, any employee who has been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace can bring a sexual harassment claim against their employer. This includes both current and former employees, as well as job applicants who were subjected to harassment during the hiring process.

Under California law, employers are strictly liable for sexual harassment committed by their supervisors or managers. This means that an employer can be held responsible for the actions of its supervisors or managers, even if the employer did not know about the harassment or did not take any steps to prevent it.

Employers may also be liable for sexual harassment committed by non-supervisory employees if the employer knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take appropriate action to prevent or stop it.

Need help writing a sexual harassment complaint letter?

How Our Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Nabati Law Can Help

If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, our sexual harassment lawyers in San Francisco can provide you with the legal guidance you need. We offer 100% free case evaluations to help.

Sexual Harassment Law Frequently Asked Questions

In California, the deadline to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is generally three years from the date of the alleged harassment. However, if the claim is filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the deadline is typically 300 days from the date of the alleged harassment.

These deadlines are strict and missing them can prevent you from pursuing your claim. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to understand your legal options and to ensure that you meet all applicable deadlines.

No, your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you for filing a sexual harassment claim. Retaliation can take many forms, such as firing, demoting, or harassing the employee who filed the complaint. If you experience retaliation after filing a sexual harassment claim, you may have legal recourse. An experienced employment law attorney can help you prove a causal connection between your complaint and the adverse action, and navigate the retaliation claim process to build a strong case.

Harassment is considered illegal when it meets certain criteria. In general, harassment is considered illegal if it is based on a protected characteristic, such as race, sex, religion, age, or disability, and if it creates a hostile work environment or results in an adverse employment action.

If you are being sexually harassed at work, it is important to take action to protect yourself and address the situation. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Report the harassment to your employer in writing: Notify your employer or a supervisor about the harassment as soon as possible. Make the report in writing! If your employer has a designated person or department to report harassment, use that resource. Be specific about the behavior and the impact it is having on you.
  2. Keep a record: Document the harassment incidents, including the dates, times, and details of what was said or done. Keep any written or electronic communications related to the harassment.
  3. Seek support: Talk to a trusted friend or family member for emotional support. You may also consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor.
  4. Follow up: If you do not receive a response or action from your employer, follow up with them in writing to request a formal investigation.
  5. File a complaint: If your employer does not take appropriate action, you may file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or pursue legal action.
  6. Hire an attorney: Speak to an attorney, learn your rights, and how to protect yourself.


It is important to note that you have legal protections against retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for making a complaint or participating in an investigation. If you experience retaliation, report it to your employer and consult with an attorney if necessary.