Working in a safe and comfortable environment free from harassment is every employee’s basic right. However, many employees suffer inappropriate sexual jokes, racial stereotypes, or other types of discriminatory remarks or actions at work because their employers fail to intervene, cultivating a hostile work environment.
If you have suffered harassment on the job and your employer has done nothing to stop it, take legal action with help from the experienced workplace harassment lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm. We can help you prepare the strongest case so you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us at (213) 805-8549 to speak with an attorney from California’s top employment law firm.
What Are the Requirements for a Workplace Harassment Legal Action?
In order to make a case for workplace harassment, you must be able to prove each of the following elements in court:
- The harassment was based on a protected characteristic (race, gender, age, disability, etc.),
- The conduct was offensive and unwelcome, and
- Severe or pervasive enough to affect the terms and conditions of the victim’s employment.
Your employer can be held liable if he or she actually knew about the harassment or reasonably could’ve learned of the harassment, and failed to take immediate and appropriate action to correct it.
What Are the Different Types of Workplace Harassment?
There are two main types of workplace harassment:
- Quid pro quo – This occurs when someone in a position of authority offers you an employment benefit in exchange for accepting unwelcome behavior (or threatens to retaliate if you don’t).
- Hostile work environment – This exists when one’s behavior within a workplace creates an environment that makes it difficult for another employer to perform his or her job. The harasser can be anyone – a supervisor, coworker, contractor, customer, or even a client. Also, you can be a victim of a hostile work environment even if you’re not the target of harassment.
These types of harassment can take different forms, which are explained in more detail below:
- Verbal – Ethnic slurs, sexist or racist jokes, sexual remarks, comments that promote stereotypes, and repeated and unwanted requests for dates of sexual favors.
- Non-Verbal – Suggestive and/or vulgar hand gestures or expressions, hostile gestures or expressions, inappropriate emails, and sexually oriented or racist media.
- Physical – Hitting, pushing, groping, and other unwanted physical contact. Physical intimidation is also enough to warrant this kind of claim.
Filing an Administrative Charge
Before you can bring a harassment lawsuit, you must file an administrative charge either with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Upon receiving your claim, the agency will notify your employer. Unless the agency dismisses your claim, requests settlement or mediation, or files a lawsuit on your behalf (which is hardly likely), they will issue you a right to sue letter after processing your claim. With this letter, you may file a lawsuit.
At this stage, you should consult a qualified workplace harassment attorney who can evaluate the strength of your claim, ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines, draft your administrative charge, and represent you in negotiations with your employer.
Top Workplace Harassment Attorneys in California
Call Wilshire Law Firm at (213) 805-8549 to have your case handled by the top employment law firm in California. Our award-winning attorneys are ready to defend your rights and fight in court if needed. Because you deserve better at work.