Regardless of whether you love your work or it's “just a job,” harassment in the workplace can make you feel deeply uncomfortable, threatened, miserable, and even unsafe. But depending upon the nature and the source of the harassment, you may be able to bring a legal action against the harasser and/or your employer to win financial recovery and other forms of relief.
What is the Nature of the Harassment?
We all deal with unpleasant and even downright cruel behavior from people in the workplace at some points in our life, but such behavior can rise to the level of legally actionable when it is directed at a person based on certain aspects of their identity such as:
- Race or nationality/national origin
- Gender or gender identity
- Pregnancy status
- Sexual orientation
- Having a disability
In addition, acts towards any person in the workplace that are sexual in nature might rise to the level of sexual harassment, such as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, inappropriate touching, or sexual comments.
Who is Doing the Harassing and Does Your Employer Know?
The next question to ask in a harassment matter is, “Who is committing the acts of harassment?” No one is permitted to engage in harassing behavior, but the role of the person who is harassing you may play a large part in determining whether or not you have a harassment claim against your employer
If the person is an owner, manager, or supervisor, then typically the employer itself is liable to you in a harassment claim. But even if the harasser is a fellow employee, you may be able to bring a successful if the behavior was egregious and occurring on a more-than-occasional basis. If your employer knew about the behavior but did not take effective action to stop it (i.e. by firing the harasser) or should have known about the behavior but took no effective action, you may be able to bring a successful harassment claim.
Preparing for Bringing a Workplace Harassment Claim
If you have been the subject of harassment in the workplace, you should not simply accept it. A key aspect of bringing a sexual harassment is to document the following issues, to the best of your ability:
- The acts of harassment that have occurred, with as much detail as possible;
- What your supervisors, Human Resources personnel, or other employer representatives knew about the harassment; and
- What steps you have taken to address the behavior on your known, such as asking the offender to stop, sending an email to HR, etc.
Along with this, you should speak to an employment law attorney as soon as possible to determine what your options for justice (including financial recovery) might be, and how best to go about pursuing those options.
Contact a Pasadena Workplace Harassment Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Brian I. Vogel represents California workers in helping them win justice and financial recovery through workplace harassment actions as well as other employment law actions. With three decades of experience in bringing hundreds of actions on behalf of California workers, Brian Vogel has the skills, tenacity, and deep knowledge of California and federal employment law to fight for justice on your behalf. Contact him today to schedule a consultation regarding your harassment claim.