Hostile Work Environment in California

Do you believe you have been subject to a hostile work environment in California? Contact our experienced California employment law attorneys to protect your rights.

Question:

What is considered a hostile work environment?

Answer:

I would say that there’s not a day that goes by in which I don’t get contacted by a potential client who is experiencing a hostile work environment and asking whether or not they’ve been subjected to unlawful harassment. In walking through these issues with a potential client, it’s important to note that not all harassment is unlawful. Sometimes, you have supervisors that are hotheads, yell and scream, or say inappropriate comments but not necessarily unlawful comments, but the conduct doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of a hostile work environment.

A lot of times we look at whether or not the harassing conduct or the hostile work environment is based off a protected class. Are they targeting you because of your gender? Are they targeting you because they are creating a sexual environment? Are they targeting you because of your race or disability? All of that is unlawful.

California law expressly prohibits creating a hostile work environment or a harassing work environment based off a protected conduct. It also includes protecting employees from creating a hostile work environment or harassing conduct because they went to HR to complain about that conduct. That’s when you start to identify as to whether or not the conduct is going to warrant a hostile work environment or a harassment claim. Is the harassment based off of a specific classification? It’s not always easy to identify why the conduct might be unlawful. Sometimes it’s hard to say; while the conduct is inappropriate and is disheartening, and is hostile, and is harassing, it’s not necessarily unlawful. Those are sometimes hard conversations to have with people.

It’s also important to understand that it’s not always easy to articulate why it is unlawful. It’s important to find an attorney that can walk you through as to whether or not what you’re being subjected to is unlawful conduct. It’s also important to figure out how to stop it. If you’re a current employee, there’s a lot of times I tell current employees that they need a job more than they need a lawsuit, so let’s take steps to prevent the harassment and to make sure that you continue working for the company because that’s what you want.

If you’re a current employee, I encourage you to give us a call so I can walk you through what steps you can do to protect yourself. If you’re a former employee that’s been subject to harassment or a hostile work environment for what you believe is an unlawful reason, feel free to give me a call. If you’ve been subjected to what you think is retaliation for complaining about conduct that’s hostile or harassing conduct that you believe is unlawful, for any reason, I’m more than happy to walk you through those issues, too. Understand that you have rights. If I can help you identify what those rights are, please just give me a call. I can help walk you through those issues. Thanks.


Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim and have questions about a hostile work environment in California? Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

We can help get your life back on track.

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