Riverside Harassment Attorney
In a time when the #MeToo movement is a frequent presence in the headlines, awareness of sexual harassment is high. While sexual harassment is a real problem in the workplace, it is not the only type of unlawful harassment Americans may encounter at work. If persistent unwelcome behaviors are making your Riverside, California, workplace seem like a hostile environment, it is time to talk to a skilled harassment attorney about your options.
Defining Workplace Harassment
Many states have their own laws, and many companies have their own policies, so the specifics of what is considered workplace harassment vary from place to place. However, it can generally be defined as any form of discrimination that violates relevant state or federal regulations, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), this includes any unwanted physical or verbal behavior that is spurred by protected characteristics like race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, nationality, age greater than 40 years, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, or genetic information.
Harassment is unlawful when enduring it becomes a condition of continuing employment, it results in a clear change of an employee’s status or paycheck, or it creates a workplace environment that a reasonable person would deem abusive, hostile, or intimidating. The harasser can be an employer, a supervisor, a coworker, or a nonemployee. Further, you do not have to be the direct recipient of harassment to be deemed a victim. Anyone who is impacted by the harassing behavior may bring a claim. However, a single incident of poor behavior is unlikely to rise to the level of workplace harassment. Repetition, a pattern of bad behavior, or evidence of a toxic culture is typically required.
Spotting Harassment in the Workplace
Would you recognize harassment in your workplace? It can be subtle or blatant and take many forms. The following list offers a few examples of behaviors that could be viewed as harassment:
- Making derogatory comments or jokes about racial, ethnic, gender-based, age-related, or religious stereotypes.
- Bullying, isolating, passing over, or firing an individual because of a particular characteristic.
- Using offensive slang, phrases, or nicknames.
- Sharing offensive or sexually suggestive emails, letters, notes, posters, images, or videos.
- Commenting on someone’s skin color, hair, or other ethnic traits.
- Commenting on someone’s appearance in a sexually suggestive or offensive manner.
- Voicing negative comments about a religion or actively trying to convert others to a certain religious ideology.
- Referring to someone’s mental or physical disability in an offensive manner.
- Making inappropriate gestures.
- Telling lewd stories, asking sexual questions, or making rude comments about someone’s sexuality or gender identity.
- Engaging in inappropriate touching, unwanted physical contact, or physical attacks.
- Retaliating against someone because they reported misconduct.
- Retaliating against someone because they participated in an investigation into misconduct.
- Making threats or engaging in intimidating behavior.
Laying Down the Law against Workplace Harassment
In addition to the federal trio of anti-discrimination laws that includes Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Californians are shielded by the Golden State’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. These laws make harassment in the workplace illegal and require employers to take steps to protect their workers from unlawful discrimination or retaliation. However, harassment remains a problem. Fortunately, employees do not simply have to accept it.
When Workplace Harassment Happens
What should you do when workplace harassment happens?
- Know your rights. Review your employee handbook or talk with an EEOC counselor.
- Report the harassment. If there is a company policy for reporting harassment, follow it. If there is no formal policy, speak to your supervisor or a human resources representative.
- Document the harassment. As soon as an incident occurs, write down the details, including the date, time, place, and any possible witnesses. Also, document your reporting of the incident to the appropriate authorities.
- Keep detailed records at home. Gather and maintain detailed records of both the harassment and your work performance. Store them at home in a safe spot.
- Consider contacting a lawyer. An experienced harassment lawyer can be an invaluable ally as you navigate this tricky situation.
The Advantages of Hiring a Workplace Harassment Attorney
An employment lawyer who has experience dealing with workplace harassment can review your claim and advise you about its strengths and weaknesses. They can also indicate ways to gather and retain evidence to bolster your case. In addition, they can offer crucial guidance. When dealing with a workplace harassment claim, there are certain procedures and deadlines that must be respected. A workplace harassment lawyer can educate you about these necessities and help you navigate the process. As your advocate, they may be able to work out a suitable settlement with your employer. If it comes to a lawsuit, they can fight for you in the courtroom to get you the compensation you deserve.
When it comes to defending employee rights, the attorneys at Rizio Lipinsky don’t back down. As one of California’s leading law firms, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of personal injuries, civil rights violations, and workplace injustices. If workplace harassment has you dreading a day at the office, fight back. Contact Rizio Lipinsky at our Riverside office today.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.
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Workplace Harassment Lawyer
When I was discriminated and denied a job for being pregnant, I was devastated, overwhelmed, mad and hurt. When I met with Mr. Lipinsky he let me know it was going to be ok, any questions or concerns he answered right away. He made me feel like a friend not just a client, someone I can talk to and would listen. He really looks for your best interest at heart. I looked around for other lawyers before finding Mr. Lipinsky, and he was the only one that trully explained everything to me in detail and spoke to me with the truth with anything and everything dealing with my case. With Mr. Lipinsky you don't only have a lawyer that will fight for what is entitled to you, but a friend that lets you know its ok and things like this happen to the best of us.