With the advent of computers, cell phones and the internet came new forms of workplace harassment. Nowadays, in addition to racial harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace, employers must worry about online harassment between employees. Online harassment, also known as cyber bullying, refers to harassment via:
- Instant messages
- Chat rooms
- Online discussion forums
- Any other internet platform
Cyber bullying can also occur via cell phone text messages. If you are being cyber bullied by another employee and your employer refuses to address the issue, you may have a claim against your employer, especially if the online harassment targets your gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, age or disability. Cyber bullying in the workplace can be very stressful and emotionally draining for the victim, even resulting in physical harm if the unnecessary stress begins to affect the victim’s health. If you are being subjected to online harassment that is creating a hostile work environment for you, learn about your legal rights from an experienced Los Angeles employment attorney today.
Examples Of Online Harassment
We often hear about cyber bullying amongst teenagers, but it happens increasingly often amongst adults in the workplace. You may be a victim of online harassment if a co-worker:
- Sends you malicious, intimidating or threatening emails or instant messages
- Posts threatening or offensive messages about you in a chat room, blog or online discussion forum
- Sends you offensive content, including explicit images, videos, jokes or comments, about your race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, age, etc.
- Copies others on an email in an effort to publically shame or humiliate you
- Shares private details about you or your sex life online, true or fabricated
- Shares embarrassing or offensive images or videos of you, real or manipulated
- Publically displays screen savers or computer backgrounds with explicit content
- Sends you offensive content after you have asked for the behavior to stop
Many states, including California, have adopted the Healthy Workplace Bill, which addresses bullying in the workplace. The bill holds employers accountable for allowing an “abusive work environment” to persist, and such an environment can include cyber bullying. The bill also allows workers to sue a bully directly. If you become the target of a cyber bully in the workplace and your employer refuses to take action to address the situation, or if you are racially or sexually harassed at work, contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer to learn about any legal remedies that may be available to you.