Harassment & Discrimination

Harassment & Discrimination

Everyone deserves to go to work in an environment in which they feel safe and supported. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many. If you believe you are facing illegal discrimination or harassment at work, then you have grounds for a legal case and you should contact us about representation

Workplace harassment. Closeup view of black guy making unwelcome sexual advances to his secretary in
Girl writing "#metoo" on a mirror with a red lipstick.

Understanding what constitutes harassment and discrimination under the law:

In order to determine whether or not you have grounds for a legal case, it is important to understand what constitutes illegal harassment and discrimination under the law. According to federal law, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), age, disability, citizenship status, or genetic information. In addition, the state of California has passed laws that prohibit discrimination in expanded areas, including both physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, HIV/AIDS, medical condition, political activities or affiliations, military status, or your status as a victim of domestic violence or assault. Everything listed above is considered a protected class. If you are treated differently because of your status within one of these protected classes during hiring, firing, promotions, training, wages, and benefits, you are facing illegal discrimination and you have grounds for a legal case. If you are harassed based on your status within a protected class to the extent that it creates a hostile work environment, then you also have grounds for a legal case.  

What does workplace discrimination look like?

Workplace discrimination can be so insidious that the victim sometimes does not realize that they are dealing with a problematic situation. For example, a woman who is not promoted may assume that she is not qualified for the promotion, but if she recently announced a pregnancy at work, she may have been held back due to her pregnancy status.

Harassment of a member of the team, a child in school
Businessman harassing his colleague at work

What does workplace harassment look like?

Workplace harassment is broader than discrimination in that it represents a pattern of discriminatory behavior that actually leads to a hostile work environment. For example, if an openly gay woman is repeatedly mocked for her sexual orientation to the extent that she feels unwelcome in her office, she is dealing with a hostile work environment and likely has grounds for a case.