Workplace harassment occurs when offensive verbal, physical or visual communication makes the workplace intolerable. You may have heard the term: hostile work environment.
Not all harassment is illegal, although an employer may still have a duty to stop it.
Harassment becomes illegal when it occurs because the victim is a member of a legally protected class; for example, when the harassment is based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, medical condition, marital status or political activity. There are other categories.
Illegal Harassment has a discriminatory element, but, unlike discrimination itself, harassment does not require a specific adverse employment action by the employer. It just happens, is ongoing and has no particular end.
You don't have to be a member of a protected class. If you are harassed because you are thought to be a member, or you
associate with a member, you may have a harassment claim as well.
If you have been harassed at work, or, if you're not sure, or if you have questions, the first step is to learn your rights. Call us. We can help. The consultation is FREE, totally confidential, and there is no obligation.
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