Sexual Harassment And The Hostile Work Environment
For most people, the traditional idea of sexual harassment is a boss making unwanted advances towards an employee. However, there is another kind of sexual harassment that is just as illegal known as the hostile work environment. What exactly is the hostile work environment?
In order for the actions of the employer or employee to be considered hostile under California law, it must meet two requirements:
- Was it pervasive or severe in nature?
- Was it directed towards a protected class?
The first part is asking whether it is intolerable, intimidating or oppressive in nature. Does inappropriate or offensive behavior create hostility in your work environment? This behavior cannot be a one-off but something on a repeated basis. However, if it is very severe (such as groping or someone exposing their private parts), than a single instance may be enough.
The second part includes a very wide range of protected classes, particularly in California. This can include race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy and much more. For example, a restaurant supervisor is harassing a female server because of her gender. Almost on a daily basis, he flashes pornography on his phone to her. This could be considered a hostile work environment.
What Should I Do If I Am Working In A Hostile Work Environment?
The first thing to understand is that you should not be afraid to speak up and assert your rights. Once you hire an attorney, your rights will be protected. Our law firm focuses almost entirely on sexual harassment cases. We will be there for you from the beginning to the end, fiercely advocating for your employment law rights.
Secondly, you should understand that you have nothing to lose by working with our law firm. This is because we take these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay anything unless we obtain recovery on your behalf. You literally do not have anything to lose by picking up your phone and reaching out to us about your potential sexual harassment case.