California employees have the right to work free from the disgusting conditions of harassment, which occur verbally, physically, and even visually. California courts protect against harassment based on protected characteristics, which include sexual harassment, racial harassment, religious harassment, or other protected characteristics. If you are experiencing harassment at your current job, contact Astanehe Law for your consultation today. You have rights, and Astanehe Law can help you stop workplace harassment.

Click to read about sexual harassment

What are the Types of Harassment at Work?

Harassment can consist of verbal, physical, or visual acts.  Verbal abuse includes yelling, derogatory comments, and threats.  Physical harassment includes offensive or unwanted touching, violent touching, and threats of such touching.  Visual harassment includes printing offensive or abusive images, drawings, or photos.

What Types of Employment Harassment Are Prohibited?

Courts are empowered to hear cases of severe harassment involving at least one protected characteristic covered by anti-discrimination law.  In California, the following anti-discrimination laws cover workplace harassment:

  • California Constitution;
  • The Fair Employment & Housing Act;
  • The Ralph Act; and,
  • The Tom Bane Civil Rights Act.

Generally, these laws prohibit workplace harassment based on:

  • Sex;
  • Race;
  • Creed;
  • Color;
  • National & Ethnic Origin;
  • Gender;
  • Gender Identity;
  • Gender Express;
  • Sexual Orientation;
  • Mental disability;
  • Religious Creed;
  • Ancestry;
  • Physical Disability;
  • Marital Status;
  • Genetic Information;
  • Age; or,
  • Military & Veteran Status.

San Francisco employees are protected by several anti-discriminating laws, including:

  • The San Francisco Anti-Discrimination Ordinance; and,
  • The San Francisco Anti-AIDS and Other Diseases Discrimination Ordinance.

These laws expand workplace harassment coverage over:

  • Height;
  • Weight;
  • AIDS; and,
  • Various Diseases.

Employment Harassment in the Workplace

Employment harassment can occur during any phase of employment, including:

  • During the hiring process;
  • Determining compensation or compensation increases;
  • Determining workplace conditions and rules;
  • Setting employment practices or regulations that indirectly harass a class of employees;
  • While working with abusive colleagues;
  • Unfairly terminating an employee.

Upon becoming aware of harassment at work, employers must take all “reasonable steps necessary to prevent workplace harassment.  Government Code § 12940(k).

Who is Liable for Employment Harassment?

Under California law, both the employer and employee-harasser are liable to you for harassment.  If you are experiencing sexual harassment, your employer may be held strictly liable for allowing a hostile work environment.

Employment Harassment Damages

Damages for employees who suffer harassment commonly include awards of back pay, front pay, medical costs, and fringe benefits or employment perks.  Where the harassment is so offensive and severe, the employee can recover punitive damages.

Back pay is the difference between the compensation an employee would have earned in a job the employee was denied and the amount that the employee earned, or could have earned in the same area.  Back play reflects total earnings and includes possible pay raises and promotions.

Front pay reflects the future earnings expectancy that has been lost or diminished.

Fringe benefits or employment perks are non-wage or salary compensation such as stock options, meal and travel allowances, and savings or retirement plan contributions.  To collect lost or denied fringe benefits, an employee must establish: (1) These benefits would have been received and are not speculative; and, (2) Their loss flows naturally from the wrongful termination. Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. v. Smith, 647 P. 2d 1020 (Wyo. 1981).

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the employer and harassing-employer.  Here, the harassment must be particularly malicious, such as employment harassment with attendant violent acts.

Employees can also recover out-of-pocket costs associated with employment harassment.

No Upfront Costs for Employment Harassment Lawsuit

You will not owe Astanehe Law a penny until after you obtain a successful settlement or judgment. Astanehe Law offers contingency representation which means there is no upfront cost in securing legal representation.

Astanehe Law Knows Employment Harassment

Michael M. Astanehe possesses a zeal for helping employees bring claims against their employers.  Mr. Astanehe is an aggressive litigator with several years of civil litigation experience.  He is willing to take your case to trial, if necessary.  This ferocity ensures that Astanehe Law will obtain the highest recovery possible for each client.

Litigation is stressful.  To that end, Mr. Astanehe provides each client with comprehensive legal service so that they remain fully-informed and comfortable throughout the process. 

With Astanehe Law on your side, you are poised to obtain the maximum recovery possible.  Contact us today for your consultation!