How To Report Harassment At Work

Workplace Harassment is Illegal in California, Learn Your Rights


Harassment is a form of discrimination against employees that violates the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII from the (1964 Civil Rights Act, and the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act).



Unwelcome actions based on race, color, religion, sex ( including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information is harassment. Harassment is unlawful if


  1. the continuation of the offensive behavior becomes a condition of continued employment, or

  2. the conduct is severe or persistent enough to create a working atmosphere that would be considered threatening, hostile, or abusive by a rational individual.


Anti-discrimination laws also forbid intimidation of individuals in retaliation for filing, testifying, or engaging in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or prosecution under these laws for discrimination; or opposing work practices that they believe discriminate against individuals in violation of these laws.


Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated events would not escalate to the degree of illegality (unless exceptionally serious). The behavior must create a work atmosphere that would be threatening, aggressive or insulting to rational persons to be unlawful.


Offensive actions can involve but are not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calls, physical attacks or threats, coercion, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, items or photographs that are offensive, and job performance intervention. In several situations, harassment may occur, including, but not limited to, the following:


  • The harasser may be the victim's boss, a manager in another department, an employer's agent, a colleague, or someone else who doesn't work for the company.

  • The victim of harassment does not necessarily have to be the person being harassed, but anyone affected by the offensive actions can be affected.

  • Without economic damage to or discharge of the victim, unlawful harassment may occur.


The best tool to reduce workplace discrimination is prevention.

Employers are expected to take reasonable action to discourage unlawful discrimination and redress it. They should convey to workers clearly that unwelcome harassing behavior will not be accepted.


By creating an efficient complaint or grievance procedure, providing their managers and staff with anti-harassment training, and taking prompt and reasonable action when an employee complains, they can do this. Employers should aim to build an atmosphere where workers feel free to raise concerns and are assured that they can resolve them.


Employees are encouraged to explicitly warn the harasser that the behavior is unacceptable and must end. To avoid its escalation, workers should also report abuse to management at an early stage.



Liability For Workplace Harassment


The employer is automatically responsible for a supervisor's abuse resulting in an adverse decision on jobs, such as termination, failure to promote or recruit, and loss of wages. If the abuse of the boss results in a hostile work atmosphere, the employer may escape liability only if it can show that:


  1. it has adequately attempted to deter and correct the bullying conduct promptly; and

  2. the employee has unreasonably refused to take advantage of any employer-provided preventive or corrective opportunities.


The employer would be responsible for harassment against non-supervisory workers or non-employees over whom it has control ( e.g., on-site independent contractors or customers) if it has known or should have known the harassment has failed to take timely and effective corrective action.


The EEOC looks at the whole record while reviewing claims of abuse, including the nature of the actions and the context in which the alleged events occurred. On a case-by-case basis, a determination of whether the harassment is severe or widespread enough to be unlawful is made.


You may want to speak to a California employment attorney experienced in workplace harassment if you feel that your employment and job stability is in jeopardy because of this behavior.


How To Find California Employment Lawyers Experienced in Harassment Claims


You can get an unbiased and impartial referral to a pre-screened California employment lawyer near you by submitting your case details online 24 hours a day. Your case will be reviewed within 15 minutes and you'll be connected to a reputable lawyer near you.


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