California law protects against harassment based on a number of “protected categories,” which include:
- Age (40 and over).
- Religious creed.
- Denial of family and medical care leave.
- Disability (mental and physical), including HIV and AIDS.
- Marital status.
- Medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics).
- Military and Veteran Status
- Genetic information.
- National origin.
- Sex and Gender (includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding).
- Gender, gender identity and gender expression.
- Sexual orientation
Hostile work environment harassment may be present when an employee is subjected to conduct that is severe enough or sufficiently pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create a work environment that qualifies as hostile or abusive to employees because of any of the above-protected categories.
The harassment can be caused by a number of persons the employee may interact with at work, including, management, direct supervisors, other supervisors, coworkers, agents, or non-employees (like vendor representatives, etc.)
Types of conduct that may rise to the level of unlawful harassment can include:
- Threats and intimidation, both verbal physical.
- Jokes, slurs, ridicule, and insults.
- Posting of inappropriate photos, posts, cartoons, or posters.
- Sending offensive emails, messages, texts, or social media posts.
If you believe you have been harassed, contact our firm for a free consultation.