Have you been the victim of unlawful harassment in your employment?  If so, contact us… we can help!

BUT, did you know that not all harassment is unlawful?  Harassment is a form of discrimination, and like discrimination, must be based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, genetic information, medical condition, marital status or sexual orientation, to be protected by law.  (Discrimination based on sex includes pregnancy or childbirth.)  To win a discrimination claim, you will need evidence that the harassment you suffered is based on one of these protected classifications.

Does Harassment Law Protect You?

Not all harassment is so pervasive that the law affords you protection.  Courts have held that the anti-discrimination statutes are not a “general civility code.”  The law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not “extremely serious.”   Rather, the harassment conduct must be “so objectively offensive as to alter the ‘conditions’ of the victim’s employment”; i.e., only if the harassment culminated in a tangible employment action (such as demotion or termination), or was sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a “hostile work environment.”  Judging how much harassment is enough to constitute a “hostile work environment” is a tricky business that judges and juries get to second-guess, so don’t quit your job unless it is absolutely unbearable.

Is Your Employer Liable for Harassment?

Also, your employer won’t be liable for harassment unless your employer knows about it and fails to do anything.  So, if you are being harassed by a co-worker, be sure to notify your employer IN WRITING.  If the harassment continues and nothing is done, contact us.