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Understanding harassment in the workplace

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Employment Law |

Individuals in California and throughout the country are generally protected from workplace harassment by laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Behavior typically rises to the level of harassment when it is severe or pervasive enough to intimidate a reasonable person. An individual may be a victim of discrimination if his or her employment status or working conditions are linked to being tolerant of abusive or intimidating behavior.

This may include tolerating jokes about a person’s race, performing sexual favors for a colleague, or being forced to view pictures or videos that feature offensive content. It is important to point out that a victim may be someone who is indirectly impacted by another person’s actions. It is also important to note that workplace harassment could be caused by someone who doesn’t work for the victim’s employer.

Individuals may be victims of harassment even if they are being abused by another person of the same gender. Individuals who are asked questions about topics such as their nation origin or sexual orientation during an interview could be victims of harassment. This is because a person’s national origin or sexual orientation have little or nothing to do with his or her ability to do a job properly. Employers are also not allowed to ask about a person’s age, marital status or gender during an interview.

Those who feel as if they have been victims of sexual harassment at work are encouraged to speak to an attorney. Doing so may help them learn more about state and federal employment laws and how they may apply in a sexual harassment case. Attorneys may also help individuals with the process of filing lawsuits against their employers or filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.