Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employees are protected against various forms of harassment at the workplace. Under the Cal Gov Code §12940, employees are protected against harassment on the basis of sex, gender, physical disability, mental disability, medical conditions, race, color, religion, nationality, ancestry, marital status, age, and sexual orientation. The law explains that harassment is unlawful when an employer “knows or should have known of the [harassing] conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.” Cal Gov Code 12940(j)(1). An employee who has been harassed at work by a co-worker should immediately report the incident to the employer. FEHA asserts that all employers must take “all reasonable steps” to prevent harassment from occurring.
According to Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- “Verbal harassment, e.g., epithets, derogatory comments or slurs” on a basis mentioned above.
- “Physical harassment, e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement, when directed at an individual” on a basis mentioned above.
- “Visual forms of harassment, e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings” on a basis mentioned above.
- “Sexual favors, e.g., unwanted sexual advances which condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors.” CCR 7287.6.
To file a successful harassment claim, the harassing conduct must be severe and pervasive enough to produce a hostile work environment—an environment that a reasonable employee would objectively perceive as hostile. Harrison v. Forklift Sys., (1993).
If you believe you have been harassed on the job, please do not hesitate in contacting the Hekmat Law Group. Our clients’ well-being is our first priority, and we will work aggressively and tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected.