Category Archives: Harassment

Harassment at work is unlawful, and employers are liable for harassment based on race or religion as well as sexual harassment.

Is It Workplace Bullying or Sexual Harassment?

Are there legal differences between workplace bullying and sexual harassment? Workplace bullying is not explicitly illegal in California. However, employers in California who have 50 or more employees are required to provide training to supervisors every two years that includes training on prevention of workplace bullying. But if workplace bullying crosses a line into workplace harassment, then you may have a legal right to compensation. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employees have a legal right to be free from workplace harassment on the basis of the following protected traits: Race Religion Color Ancestry National origin Disability, whether physical or mental Mental condition or genetic information Marital status Sex Gender, gender identity and gender expression Age Sexual orientation Military/veteran status So, depending on the type of bullying that occurs, it is very easy for a coworker or other employee to cross the line from workplace bullying to…
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Can an NDA Prevent Me from Suing for Sexual Harassment at Work?

Does signing a non-disclosure agreement prevent you from filing a sexual harassment claim against your employer? Questions regarding employee rights relating to sexual harassment have been a big news item ever since a cascade of sexual assault allegations began with those against film executive Harvey Weinstein. That scandal continues to simmer, with other Hollywood giants including Ben Affleck and Kevin Spacey facing their own allegations. Employers are allowed to use agreements such as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to limit legal claims. However, some rights cannot be signed away, and businesses that attempt to severely limit your rights can run the risk of these agreements being deemed unenforceable. Not only that, but employers could then attract attention from state and federal agencies which can lead to further invalidation of employee agreements. This can lead to administrative penalties. In the Weinstein cases, an investigation uncovered that many of the accusers signed NDAs and…
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The #MeToo Movement and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Have you ever been sexually harassed? After the bombshell news story about Harvey Weinstein, the hashtag #MeToo has shown that the problem is widespread. The hashtag gained traction after actress Alyssa Milano tweeted to her followers, asking them to write “me too” on Twitter and share their story. Within a day, more than 53,000 people shared their sexual harassment stories. Within 48 hours, the tweet was shared over a million times. According to Facebook, just under half of all users have at least one friend that posted #MeToo. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sex-based harassment in any aspect of employment is forbidden. Yet, the problem persists. Thousands of cases of sexual harassment in the workplace are reported every year, but the true number is likely much, much higher. Why is it that many of these assaults go unreported? Simply put – it’s a difficult thing…
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