San Francisco employees, like employees everywhere, have the right to go to work and do their jobs without unwanted sexually-charged distractions or behavior. One would think that employers would universally respect this right and encourage their workers to exercise it. But in some cases, the opposite becomes true when employers either facilitate or tolerate such behavior. When aggrieved workers bring legitimate claims, they react defensively and harshly. In such an environment, many people feel they have nowhere to turn.
You can always turn to the dedicated attorneys at Bogaards Law. We are committed to helping employees defend their right to discrimination and harassment-free workplaces in San Francisco. We cannot wave a magic wand and make that happen, but we can do our part by holding negligent employers accountable for their actions. We can work to obtain the compensation and justice that employees deserve. That is what we do.
At its core, sexual harassment is a sexually-charged impediment to effective job performance. Removing that impediment benefits everyone. For that reason, and because sexual harassment is such a hot-button issue, many of these claims settle out of court and on favorable terms.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and applicable California employment laws, there are two types of sexual harassment claims in San Francisco:
Many sexual harassment claims are retaliation claims. Too often, employers take adverse action against workers who complain about sexual harassment in the workplace, either involving themselves or other employees. In so doing, these employers unintentionally dig their own graves, from a legal standpoint. Unwarranted retaliation is an independent cause of action that may lead to even more significant damages than a sexual harassment claim.
Sexual harassment is a very serious problem and can result in substantial damages being awarded to those who are harassed. These damages are designed to compensate the victim and also deter future wrongdoing on the part of the employer.
To that extent, in addition to the monetary damages discussed below, many sexual harassment settlements also include court-enforced consent decrees. So, even if the employer continues to deny responsibility, they still must make changes that will protect workers. Many times, this justice is more important than the money that we obtain at Bogaards Law.
Of course, financial compensation is important. The law allows several different types of compensation, including:
Various federal and state laws may impose limitations on damages, particularly in the area of punitive damages, based on the company’s size.
Workplace sexual harassment in any form should never be tolerated. For a confidential consultation with an experienced employment law attorney in San Francisco, contact Bogaards Law. We routinely handle harassment matters in San Francisco County and nearby jurisdictions.
Female student was sexually abused by a male student at a local private middle school. The male student had abused other students in the past.
Disputed sexual molestation of high school male student by female teacher at private school.
Plaintiff was the executive assistant for the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company for only a few years. She was fired for absenteeism and poor work performance; however, plaintiff had a personal relationship with the CEO’s family and claimed that the personal relationship both interfered with her ability to do her office work and lead to her termination.
Court trial in Marin County for breach of plaintiff’s employment contract as an office manager. Plaintiff had both a personal and work relationship with employer, a medical doctor.
Elder abuse case involving the death of a client’s father at a skilled nursing facility due to neglect, dehydration, and open wounds. Case settled at early mediation.
Elder abuse case involving the death of a fellow attorney’s mother within a month of moving into an upscale care facility in Marin County, because she was not given medications. Expedited settlement within three months of claim.
Wrongful death of the 20-year-old daughter of Renee and Israel Morales in the San Bruno PG&E gas pipeline explosion, with co-counsel John Feder. We were the second case to go to mediation resulting in one of the highest settlements in history. We also accompanied Renee Morales to the PG&E criminal trial over 5 years later.
Wrongful death of 94 year old petite grandmother who ran out into traffic in the middle of the block between parked cars against a red light. Our accident reconstruction expert found no liability- zero-against the driver who hit her.
Partial finger amputation of 8-year-old boy with comparative fault.
Plaintiff was an 85-year-old man attending a weekly Rotary meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Livermore. He slipped on wet tiles and broke his femur in four places.
Plaintiff slipped and fell on nacho cheese on the floor at a U.S.F. basketball game, injuring his knee and resulting in arthroscopic surgery.
Wrist fracture arising out of pedestrian/auto accident, no surgery.
Carbon monoxide poisoning case where clients, living in a ranch home in west Marin County, had only one day of exposure and no residual symptoms.
Bicyclist suffered broken wrist injury requiring multiple surgeries in no liability case.
Race car professional suffered neuropathic leg pain when race car driver backed up into him, while standing at metal table in hangar.
Homeowner slips on unsecured tarp in her foyer after coming downstairs and sues her general contractor doing her kitchen remodel. Homeowner suffers a severe elbow injury with surgery.
Cyclist gets doored by rideshare car. Bruising and scarring near eye and hand.
Over 35 years of professional excellence
We hired Debra Bogaards to represent us after our beloved mother passed away as the result of negligent administration of medications at a reputable, upscale assisted living. Day by day we watched her decline, took her to medical appointments and were told by her doctors that they did not understand why. After her admission to the hospital, we discovered that nursing staff failed to administer prescribed medication; the unused pills were sitting unopened in our mother’s pill basket at the nurse’s station.
This was a painful, unnecessary and premature loss. We did not want other families to experience such an awful decline and death; we felt the assisted living facility had to remediate their practices and be held accountable.
Debra was an outstanding representative for us. We were exhausted, upset and bereft. Debra’s strength, confidence and knowledge comforted us. She helped us let go of the heavy responsibility of addressing the elder abuse because she carried it in her capable hands. Debra is uplifting to work with; she brings positive energy to all of her interactions, including with the opposing side and the mediator. Her strength and optimism reduces stress in naturally stressful situations. She has deep knowledge and experience and expertly researches case specific information. She is well prepared, a strong advocate, and is patient and respectful with her clients throughout the decision-making process.
Our result was very satisfying. The assisted living changed their protocol and instituted ongoing nursing supervision for the administration of medications. In addition, we received financial compensation. The results Debra achieved for us were excellent and helped us gain closure.
We highly recommend Debra as an advocate. She has high integrity, tremendous energy and gets results.
I recently had to mediate a complex and difficult case, where opposing counsel and I agreed to use Debra as the mediator. I found her to be extraordinarily competent, empathetic and efficient in getting my case resolved.
Debra was very thorough, read through and understood all the materials, and was very well prepared. She privately met with the parties and impressed upon them the risks each of them faced by going to trial. As a result, the parties reached a compromise which was fair, and only accomplished because Debra was able to see the case from a good perspective from both the plaintiff and the defendant’s point of view.
A month before trial, Ms. Bogaards successfully mediated a challenging personal injury case and was able to effectively bridge a vast cultural and legal divide, to broker a settlement acceptable to all.
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