WHAT IS HARASSMENT?
In general, harassment in workplace includes a wide range of intentional and offensive behaviors intend to disturb, upset, or threatened employees, and is characteristically repetitive in nature.
WHEN IS HARASSMENT ILLEGAL?
It is illegal to harass an employee because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Also, it’s illegal to harass someone because they have complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
WHAT FORMS CAN HARASSMENT TAKE?
Harassment comes in various forms from bullying, where physical and psychological harassing behavior perpetrated against the employee; to psychological harassment by humiliating, intimidating or abusive behavior which is often difficult to detect leaving no evidence other than victim reports or complaints.
Also, harassment can take the forms of slurs, graffiti, offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct. Although the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal if it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or if it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
WHO CAN BE THE HARASSER?
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. For example, the harasser can be the HR worker/manager whose behavior intends to disturb or upset the employee by sending numerous and often hard to interpret policies, or threatening to terminate the employee.
Harassment outside of the workplace may also be illegal if there is a link with the workplace. For example, if a supervisor harasses an employee while driving the employee to a meeting.
WERE YOU HARASSED BECAUSE OF YOUR RACE/ETHNICITY/RELIGION/SEX?
An often form of harassment is racial harassment, which targets employees because of their race or ethnicity. This type of harassment tends to make the employee feel degraded due to their race or ethnicity. Perhaps your employer harasses colored employees by constantly stating that they are not smart enough or are too dumb to do their job properly.
Religious harassment is also common in the workplace environment where verbal, psychological or physical harassment is used against employees because they choose to practice a specific religion. Perhaps you go to church every Sunday and your employer harasses you on how you don’t work hard enough because you refuse to come into work on Sundays and that your religion is shameful.
But yet, perhaps the most often harassment in the workplace comes as sexual harassment. It involves unwanted and unwelcome words, deeds, actions, gestures, symbols, or behaviors of a sexual nature that make the employee feel uncomfortable. Gender and sexual orientation harassment fall into this family. Perhaps your boss harasses an employee on how pretty she is and how he would like to take her home or comments on her body in an unwanted often sexually descriptive manner.
WE CAN HELP
If you feel that you have been harassed by your employer, you should contact an employment attorney immediately to protect your legal rights under both State and Federal laws.
The employment law matters are often complex and fact specific. At Mostafavi Law Group, APC, we treat your situation uniquely, and will tailor our representation to your situation and needs with commitment and zealous advocacy to maximize the recovery for you.
TAKE AN ACTION TODAY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
Contact us today by calling (310)473-1111, send us a fax at (310)473-2222 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.