Employees in the San Francisco area – and throughout the United States – are protected from various forms of unlawful workplace harassment under state and federal anti-discrimination laws. However, too many people continue to be subjected to unlawful harassment that creates a hostile work environment. In some situations, the harassment might even cause an employee to quit their jobs.
If you believe you are working in a hostile environment due to prohibited harassment, or you are considering leaving your job because of the conduct, you should not wait to discuss your options with a workplace harassment attorney in San Francisco. The legal team at Minnis & Smallets is ready to help.
Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on several protected characteristics, and harassment is also unlawful when it is based on these same characteristics. In California, you are protected based on your:
When harassment is based on any of the above, it could constitute unlawful conduct. Harassment can also involve many different types of conduct, such as:
A single disparaging comment or act is generally not enough to be considered unlawful harassment unless it is highly offensive. Instead, harassing conduct must create a hostile work environment, which is an environment that another reasonable person would find to be an offensive or hostile place to work.
If you believe you are being harassed and it has created a hostile work environment, you should keep careful notes of all disparaging or offensive acts or words against you. You should immediately report the problem to your employer, such as to human resources or a trusted supervisor. Your employer then has the obligation to take action to stop the harassing behavior. If your employer is successful in doing so, you can continue working in a safer and healthier environment. If the harassment is allowed to continue, you have the right to take legal action and hold your employer liable for your losses.
Some people feel the need to quit their jobs as a result of a continuing hostile work environment. This is referred to as constructive discharge and can be a form of wrongful termination. It is important to seek advice from an employment lawyer if you are considering leaving your job due to harassment.