Harassment RepresentationOrange County Employment Attorneys
Harassment may be defined as any offensive, unwanted conduct that is intended to intimidate or make a person feel uncomfortable. Harassment directed toward a member of a protected class of individuals is illegal.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Any unwanted physical or mental conduct based on one of the following immutable characteristics violates Title VII and is considered discriminatory:
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
Harassment Impacting Employment Status
Typical scenarios involve hiring, firing and promotions, but other more subtle acts an Irvine employment law attorney reports include disciplinary actions, undesirable work assignments and reduction in benefits.
Hostile Work Environment
Even if the individual who is subjected to the harassment has not suffered any detrimental impact on his or her employment status, the harassment may be considered sufficiently severe or persuasive as to create an environment that is not conducive to productivity and affects the well-being of the victim.
The Employer’s Duty
Each employer has a general duty to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment, stop harassment and investigate allegations of harassment. California employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide harassment training to all supervisors.
The Employer’s Liability for the Conduct of a Supervisor
An employer is liable for any harassment of a supervisor that resulted in a significant change in an individual’s employment status (a “tangible employment action.”) If the harassment did not result in a tangible employment action, the employer will be liable unless it proves:
- The employer acted reasonably to prevent and stop the harassment, or
- The employee acted unreasonably in not complaining of the harassment
Supervisors are not the only individuals who can commit harassment. Management, co-workers and outside individuals such as vendors, contractors or visitors can victimize an employee. Additionally, a victim of harassment may be an employee who observes harassment directed at another employee and is affected by the offensive conduct.
Contact an Irvine Employment Law Lawyer
If you have been harassed at work, you need to act to protect your rights. Begin by calling Altus Law Firm at 949-346-3391.