Harassment

The law forbids discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in every aspect of employment. Employers are limited in how they may conduct job advertising, recruitment, hiring, training, referrals, promotions, base pay or benefits, discipline or discharge employees, or provide references. Despite more than a decade of sensitivity training, and the development of ever larger human resource departments, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reported steady gains in the number of charges being brought against employers nationwide.

California law provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for "an employer . . . or any other person, because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation, to harass an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract. Harassment of an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract by an employee other than an agent or supervisor shall be unlawful if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of this conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. An entity shall take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring. Loss of tangible job benefits shall not be necessary in order to establish harassment."

Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation can take the form but not limited to:

  • Slurs

  • Offensive jokes

  • Name calling

  • Threats

  • Intimidation

  • Mockery

  • Insults

  • Offensive gestures

  • Offensive objects or pictures

  • Interfering with work performance

Where harassment claims are involved, state and federal employment laws require an employer to proceed with a full, prompt investigation of the claims. If the investigation reveals that there is substance to the claims, the employer must also take effective remedial action with the employees involved. These fact-finding investigations are discoverable and the employer may face additional liability if the investigation was delayed, ignored facts, or was only cursory in nature.

Bowen Law Firm's employment practice is dedicated to protecting our clients' rights in employment litigation. The relationship between employers and employees is more complicated than ever. Employers must navigate and adhere to state and federal laws and regulations that often overlap or conflict, while maintaining a productive and motivated work-force. We represent both employees and employers in attempting to resolve employment disputes. Call our office at (916) 742-2220 if you have been involved in workplace discrimination or harassment.