Los Angeles Harassment Attorneys
The Los Angeles harassment lawyers at Mathew & George are experienced in all forms of workplace harassment. If you have been harassed at work in the Los Angeles area, reach out to our team for a free consultation. Our Los Angeles harassment and discrimination attorneys will review your situation and let you know if an EEOC claim is a good idea. We can help you navigate the claims process and pursue a lawsuit for your workplace harassment case.
Harassment is any unwelcome conduct directed at another individual, usually on the basis of race, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, age, ADA status, or other factor of a person’s identity. Harassment is a common form of workplace discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has strict rules governing workplace fairness.
Frequently Asked Harassment Questions
What constitutes as harassment in California?
How do I file a harassment claim in Los Angeles?
Can I get workers’ compensation from a harassment case?
What are my employers obligations if I’m harassed at work?
Understanding Workplace Harassment in California
Harassment is an employee enduring unwelcome conduct as a condition of remaining employed. That is, the harasser has made it clear that the conduct will not stop as long as the targeted individual remains employed at the organization. Harassment also includes any actions that create a hostile, abusive, or otherwise distressing working environment.
The EEOC does not consider rude comments or isolated incidents as harassment. They must be serious in nature and frequent. If the conduct in question would create a hostile work environment for any other reasonable person, the employer can be held accountable for breaking EEOC laws.
Harassment can include:
- Offensive remarks, such as jokes, epithets, or slurs
- Physical assaults
- Threats to an employee’s person or job security
- Any other form of intimidation
- Ridicule due to the employee’s personal identity
- Insults and mockery
- Posting offensive images or notes in the workplace
- Interfering with an employee’s work due to his or her personal identity
- Threats of workplace violence
This is not an exhaustive list – the ways in which harassment can take place vary widely as well. When most people think of workplace harassment, they often imagine an employer mistreating an employee. However, harassment can take place between colleagues of similar standing. This even includes non-employees who interact with the employee on a regular basis. An example of this is a parcel delivery person who delivers goods on a regular basis to the employee’s workplace. Additionally, anyone who feels affected by harassment may file a claim.
Filing a Harassment Claim in Los Angeles
Plaintiffs in workplace harassment cases do not have to prove any economic injury occurred to win their cases. In some harassment cases, an employee may have been compelled to quit or was otherwise forced to resign. A workplace harassment claim may help that employee secure reinstatement and back pay for time lost.
If you believe that you are being harassed at work, do not hesitate to explore your organization’s internal options for resolution. Many companies do not want harassment to take place, and they want to safeguard against potentially ugly lawsuits. Explore your company’s internal processes for resolving harassment. You may be able to have the situation handled quickly to your satisfaction. It is in your company’s best interest to quell harassment in the workplace.
However, if this is impossible, reach out to a Los Angeles workplace harassment attorney to help you file a lawsuit. The EEOC investigates complaints of harassment. If such an investigation determines that harassment did take place, the EEOC will:
Filing for Workers’ Comp for Harassment
Victims of workplace harassment may be able to file a workers’ compensation or disability claim under California law. In order to collect workers’ compensation benefits, the following must apply:
- You are an employee of the organization
- Your workplace injuries arose from the nature of your employment
By law, your employer cannot fire you for filing a claim for an on-the-job injury or missing work to recover.
If your employer is threatening your job because you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits, this is also a form of harassment. If this applies to your case, contact an experienced employment attorney immediately.
Sometimes, employers try to threaten employees in an effort to make them quit. If you’re enduring additional workplace harassment in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim, resist the urge to throw in the towel and quit. This could negatively affect your workers’ compensation claim. If your employer wrongfully lays you off or fires you while receiving workers’ compensation, you may be able to receive additional benefits.
Workers’ Compensation and No-Fault Claims
Workers’ compensation is, by nature, a no-fault system. Therefore, you won’t have to prove that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injuries in order to collect benefits. You simply have to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer on the grounds of harassment. They then must file a report with the insurance company. However, filing a workers’ compensation claim for harassment may limit your ability to pursue an additional claim against your employer for negligence.
Due to the difficult nature of these claims, it’s not uncommon for them to face denial from the insurance company. This highlights the importance of hiring a California workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights and ensure your employer is meeting its obligations.
Your Employer’s Liability and Obligations
The laws of the state of California strictly prohibit harassment of any employees. If harassment occurs in any form in the workplace, an employer faces strict liability for that harassment. In other words, an employer will be liable for any harassment that occurs in a workplace regardless of proof of fault. Even if management did not know that harassment occurred, they could still be responsible for any damages that result.
In some cases, however, liability cannot be absolute. For example, a company may avoid liability for a harassment claim if a non-management employee harassed another, but management had harassment initiatives in place. However, if management knew about this harassment and failed to act, the company could still be liable for damages.
Employers face legal requirements to take a preventive approach to harassment in the workplace. Steps they must take include:
- Posting notices required by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing
- Distributing information to employees about harassment prevention, including information about applicable laws and regulations and possible legal remedies.
Contact Our Harassment Lawyers
Despite these initiatives, harassment continues to plague workplaces throughout Southern California. If you were recently the victim of workplace harassment, talk to the Los Angeles harassment attorneys at Mathew & George. If your claim is of a sexual nature, please contact our sexual harassment lawyers. We help victims of harassment understand their rights and responsibilities under California law, and hold employers accountable for their actions. If you’re suffering at work, don’t endure it in silence. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with our firm, contact us.