Identifying Work from Home Harassment During the Pandemic

Our Los Angeles Harassment Lawyers Explain How to Spot Online Harassment

Vaccines are finally here. Over the next few months, tens of millions of workers across the U.S. can look forward to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Businesses may begin slowly opening back up, although carefully, as more people receive a vaccine. However, we can expect work-from-home trends to continue in the near future.

Working from home can have some of the same drawbacks as working in an office, such as experiencing workplace harassment. Although the harassment may not be in person, workers affected by harassment can still experience a hostile work environment. Below, our Los Angeles harassment lawyers explain some of the most common warning signs of online harassment. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about online harassment in the workplace. Schedule a free consultation with us by dialing (310) 997-4431 or by using our site’s contact form. 

Common Examples of Online Workplace Harassment

Harassment in a work-from-home environment is far more likely to take place over Zoom, Skype, email or social media. In fact, harassment can occur over any type of digital platform that assists with communication. Possible examples of online harassment include:

  • Name-calling or using slurs on group chats, work-related forums, social media or email.
  • Sending sexually suggestive photos, messages or emails.
  • Singling out a worker for harassment due to their race, gender, national origin, religion, veterans’ status, disability, sexual orientation or sexual identification.
  • Stalking a person on social media.
  • Sharing inappropriate memes, posts or messages about another employee.
  • Classic quid pro quo sexual harassment, such as offering promotions in exchange for sexual favors.

Some of the scenarios listed above may run afoul of state and federal laws. Many of the same harassment scenarios that can occur in a traditional office setting may also take place while working from home.

Supervisors are not the only people who may be guilty of online harassment. Other workers at the same company or even clients can be guilty of harassment. Employers have a legal obligation to prevent and stop existing harassment that affects their employees.

Laws that Prohibit Workplace Harassment

There are federal and state laws that prohibit workplace harassment. Some of those laws include:

  • Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law prohibits workplace discrimination.
  • The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This state law prevents workplace discrimination and offers protections for broad groups of people.

You have to go through a process if you want to file a harassment claim against your employer. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may opt to investigate your claim.

One of the Los Angeles harassment attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help you determine if you have legal options to pursue compensation against your employer. We offer a free initial consultation that can go over whether you have options.

Can I Be Fired for Reporting Online Harassment?

Your employer cannot fire you for reporting a violation of local, state or federal laws.

If your employer fired or demoted you for reporting legitimate harassment or some other form of discrimination, it may be considered retaliation. Whistleblowers, workers who report illegal employer practices, have protections under state and federal laws. We encourage you to continue browsing our website to learn more about some of these protections.

You can contact us to learn more about potential legal options if you believe your former employer committed retaliation. We can also advise you on your legal rights in the workplace for resolving harassment. Our Los Angeles employment lawyers offer free consultations that can help advise you of your legal rights and potential options for compensation.

Contact Our Los Angeles Employment Lawyers to Learn More

Questions about handling sexual harassment in the workplace? Contact our Los Angeles employment lawyers to determine whether you have options to hold your current or former employer accountable. To schedule a free consultation with us, dial (310) 997-4431 or use the contact form on our website.

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