Unfortunately, unlawful workplace harassment has become too much of a common issue in many employment settings. That is why it is important to know the important steps you can take to ensure that you protect your legal rights and react to a situation that you think is unlawful harassment. While unlawful harassment at work might feel intimidating, reaching out for help from an employment lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga could be your first line of defense against workplace harassment and ensure that your rights are protected. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how contacting and getting a free initial consultation with an experienced employment lawyer can give you the best chance of protecting your legal rights and help you with the unlawful harassment that has happened at your work.
What is Workplace Harassment?
Workplace harassment can include verbal, physical, psychological, or emotional abuse based on an employee’s mental or physical disabilities, failure to accommodate any recognized disability, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, (pregnancy or gender), sexual orientation, military status or denial of family medical care leave. These are known as “protected classes” under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. Most people associate unlawful harassment with sexual harassment. Although sexual harassment is very common in the workplace, unlawful harassment can also happen for other protected classes. For example, race based harassment happens often. Either a supervisor or a co-worker will make offensive “jokes” that are based on another employee’s race, forward racially offensive jokes or photographs through email or text messages. It can also come in the form of nicknames that have racial undertones. In fact, unlawful harassment can also apply to employees with mental or physical disabilities, to employees that are older and face constant comments about their age and when they plan to “retire,” about the way an employee speaks (especially if English is their second language), etc. This harassing treatment can be verbally abusive, hurtful and insulting. In extreme case, an employee might be subjected to physical abuse on the basis of their protected characteristic which can range from any unwanted physical contact to something even stronger, such as pushing or hitting a coworker. Unlawful harassment can have psychological and emotional impacts on the victim. They often feel isolated and alone. Sometimes this can lead to issues related to their work performance because the problem is not stopped. In the legal world constant and abusive harassment can lead to what is called a “hostile work environment.” If this has happened, it is important to reach out to an employment lawyer to find out more about the legal rights available and stop the unlawful harassment from continuing.
How Do You Know You’re Being Harassed at Work?
If you feel like you are constantly being attacked because of your protected characteristics (race, national origin, gender, age, religion, etc.), it is important to recognize the signs of workplace harassment before they escalate into something worse. It is important to take note that harassment can come in different forms. As stated above, it can come in offensive jokes in front of others or even in a one on one situation, text messages that are motivated by intimidation, offensive emails or text messages that often include an offensive stereotype, voicemails, nicknames, etc. The more often it happens, even if it is not obvious at the beginning, the greater the chance that it is unlawful harassment. If you experience any of these signs at work, then it is important to act quickly before the situation escalates further. That includes reaching out to Human Resources and providing examples of the unlawful harassment as proof, and reaching out to an experienced employment lawyer that can represent you and protect your rights. An employer has an obligation to investigate complaints of unlawful harassment to make sure it stops immediately.
Steps to Take When Dealing with a Harassing Boss
When dealing with a harassing boss, it is important to remain professional and stay focused on getting the job done while protecting yourself from further harm. Here are some steps that you can take when dealing with a harassing boss:
1) Document all instances of workplace abuse: Keep records of any incidents where your boss has been verbally or physically abusive towards you so that you have evidence if necessary. If there are emails that support your claim of harassment, print them out. The same is true for text messages. If there are voicemails or voice memos, do the same. It is important that you do these things to show that you are telling the truth.
2) Talk to Human Resources: If possible, talk to a Human Resources representative about your concerns. Request that Human Resources start an immediate investigation. Be sure to provide your records of harassment so it can be used to show your side of the story.
3) Seek outside support. Reach out to an employment lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga. You need to know the best strategy to protect your legal rights and the best person to help you is an employment lawyer with experience in this area of the law.
4) Consider reaching out to family, friends and religious leaders: During these times, you can get additional support from those who play an important role in your life. Talk to your family members, friends, colleagues, and religious leaders for advice. They can help take away some of the stress and anxiety that is caused by unlawful harassment.
When to Hire an Employment Lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga
No one should ever have to endure workplace harassment—whether verbal, physical, psychological, or emotional—from their employer, boss, or co-workers. If you feel like you are being unlawfully harassed at work, then you must recognize the signs of workplace harassment and act quickly before the situation escalates further. Remember that there are resources available for those who find themselves in this position. Document all instances of workplace abuse and consider getting outside help and advice from family members and friends. Once you’ve exhausted these other options, consider consulting an employment lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga who has a significant amount of experience in employment law cases.