Can I file a sexual harassment claim against my employer if I was harassed outside of the workplace?

Under California law, an employer can be liable for sexual harassment even if it did not occur in an office building or traditional workplace. Many company events take place outside of work premises, such as conferences, off-site meetings, business trips, company-sponsored parties or social functions at a home.
Employers can bear liability for sexual harassment that happens at these places even if employee attendance is voluntary. An employee may have a sexual harassment claim as long as there was an employment relationship between the parties involved when the harassment occurred. For example, if a coworker or supervisor was acting within the scope of their employment when the unwanted behavior took place.
Sexual harassment that happens outside of the workplace can either be a severe one-off incident or repetitive, pervasive conduct that contributes to a hostile work environment. An employer can also be liable for sexual harassment if they knew or should have known that it occurred but took no action to stop it.
Employees have the right to report sexual harassment to their employer even if it occurred outside the traditional workplace environment. Employers are required to take all complaints seriously, no matter where the harassment took place.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the course of your employment, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Oakland employment lawyer. Erlich Law Firm can advise you on what steps you can take and whether you have a case against your employer.

Other Sexual Harassment FAQs:


My parents were heavily involved in community organizing. Seeing neighbors and friends’ parents struggle in the workplace gave me a sense of purpose that I wanted to help others. Many employees feel helpless and powerless in the workplace, and helping them vindicate their rights is the right thing to do.

- Jason Erlich

Client testimonials
Jason took the time to explain and guide me through the challenging process, and went the extra steps in consistently providing guidance and putting my concerns and questions high on their list.

Jeff V., Oakland

Jason Erlich made me feel like I was in the right place right away.I had some serious problems with a previous employer and he took care of everything. From the start he helped with my concerns and fears going up against a big corporation.

Susan W., Pacifica

With Jason’s expertise, commitment and aggressiveness, the case is now over and it’s only been 6 months!! I would HIGHLY recommend Jason Erlich to anyone that needs an employment lawyer.

Carla, Petaluma

I can highly recommend Jason Erlich Esq. for any employment law matter. He is an outstanding lawyer, embodies a mix of honesty, knowledge, client care and tough mindset.

Roger J., Oakland

When employees' legal rights are violated, we take time to explain their legal options, listen to their goals, and aggressively argue their case until we achieve the resolution they deserve.