Workplace Harassment is a Form of Discrimination
Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal authority.
Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation, or retaliation (sometimes collectively referred to as "legally protected characteristics") constitutes harassment when:
Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race or other legally protected characteristics unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Anyone in the workplace might commit this type of harassment; a management official, co-worker, or non-employee, such as a contractor, vendor or guest. The victim can be anyone affected by the conduct, not just the individual at whom the offensive conduct is directed.
Examples of actions that may create sexual hostile environment harassment include:
Other actions which may result in hostile environment harassment, but are non-sexual in nature, include:
Harassment that results in a tangible employment action occurs when a management official's harassing conduct results in some significant change in an employee's employment status (e.g., hiring, firing, promotion, failure to promote, demotion, formal discipline, such as suspension, undesirable reassignment, or a significant change in benefits, a compensation decision, or a work assignment). Only individuals with supervisory or managerial responsibility can commit this type of harassment.
A claim of harassment generally requires ALL the following elements:
What is Not Harassment?
The anti-discrimination statutes are not a general civility code. Thus, federal law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not extremely serious. Rather, the conduct must be so objectively offensive as to alter the conditions of the individual's employment. The conditions of employment are altered only if the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action or is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment.
If you feel you may have a hostile work environment claim, feel free to contact Deskin Law Firm.