Workplace harassment is a form of employment discrimination that is illegal under both federal and California state law. In Silicon Valley, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination under state law. There are also numerous federal laws that prohibit harassment at work in Silicon Valley, including:
Employers have a duty to prevent harassment in the workplace and to take corrective steps when harassment occurs. For employees who have been subject to workplace discrimination, it is important to work with a Silicon Valley employment law attorney to determine whether you should file your claim under federal or California state law. Federal claims must be filed through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), while California state law claims must be filed through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
For any questions about harassment in the workplace, you should contact a Silicon Valley harassment lawyer.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California FEHA, sexual harassment is one type of prohibited discrimination in the workplace. Both federal and state law recognize two different types of sexual harassment:
Harassment because of pregnancy is also considered a prohibited form of harassment on the basis of sex.
Federal and state laws also prohibit harassment on the basis of race, color, and national origin. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the California FEHA make it unlawful for an employee to face harassment as a result of her race, color, or national origin.
It is important to keep in mind that “petty slights, annoyance, and isolated incidents,” unless those isolated incidents are extremely severe, will not rise to the level of prohibited harassment. Rather, any harassment “must create a hostile work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people,” according to the EEOC.
Harassment on the basis of age, disability, or genetic information is also prohibited in most situations in the workplace. In order for age discrimination to be actionable under the ADEA, the harassment must involve age discrimination aimed at a person who is 40 or older.
If you have questions about filing a claim, or if you are an employer who is facing a workplace harassment claim, you should speak with a Silicon Valley harassment attorney about your case. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP today.