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Recognizing harassment in the workplace

When you have had an uncomfortable or disturbing experience in a California workplace, you may be unsure if you should do anything about it. You might wonder whether making a complaint could make the situation worse, or whether your complaint might be disregarded as making a big deal out of nothing.

Despite these fears, it is important to know your legal rights and protections from harassment in the workplace. If a social interaction has made you feel uncomfortable enough to affect the way that you feel at work, it is very likely that you have experienced harassment.

What is harassment in the workplace?

Harassment is defined under the law as any type of behavior that creates a hostile environment in the workplace. This, therefore, means that there are many different types of harassment. Harassment in the workplace could be something subtle that happens repeatedly over a long period of time, contributing to the creation of a hostile environment. Alternatively, it could be one single event that changes the way that you feel at work.

Some examples of harassment

One instance of harassment could be in relation to discrimination. For example, if you are a job interviewee in a wheelchair, the interviewer would be harassing you if he or she continued to ask questions about the specific nature of your disability.

Other harassment could be sexual in nature. For example, if a coworker continues to email you inappropriate content or makes crude jokes that leave you feeling embarrassed, this can constitute workplace harassment.

If you believe that you have experienced workplace harassment in California, it is important to take action so that you can move forward in your career without this unfair and unlawful burden.

Source: The Balance, "The Different Types of Harassment in the Workplace," accessed June 08, 2018

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