What Constitutes a Hostile Working Environment in California?

At Romero Law, our employment law attorneys in Pasadena, California understand that hostility in the workplace may be difficult to recognize from a legal standpoint.

A hostile work environment is not defined by coworkers excluding you from activities, or exhibiting unprofessional behavior, like teasing you about being late or for your ideas in a meeting.

The legal requirement to identify a hostile work environment requires three factors to be true:

  1. The coworker or employer’s behaviors creates a discriminatory environment
  2. A reasonable person would find that environment intimidating or abusive
  3. The discriminatory environment impacts the affected person’s ability to work

If you believe you are being subjected to a hostile work environment, contact our employment lawyers in Los Angeles County today to learn more about your legal rights and options to hold your employer accountable for the behavior you have endured.

What Groups of People are Protected by California and Federal Hostile Work Environment Laws?

A hostile work environment is defined by behavior that discriminates against a protected group of people.

That includes any conduct that discriminates against someone based on:

  • Age (40 and over)
  • Ancestry and National Origin
  • Disability
  • Gender Identity and Gender Expression
  • Genetic Information
  • Marital Status
  • Medical Conditions
  • Mental and Physical Disability
  • Military or Veteran Status
  • Race and Color
  • Religion and Creed
  • Sex or Gender, including Pregnancy, Childbirth, Breastfeeding or Related Medical Conditions
  • Sexual Orientation

Keep in mind, unlikeable habits, routines, or behaviors exhibited by your employer or another employee do not make a work environment hostile.

A true hostile work environment must meet certain legal criteria, according to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

What is Considered Hostile Workplace Behavior?

We have established that unwelcome conduct or harassment of a protected group can create a hostile work environment.

Next, we must prove the harassment is pervasive and long lasting, and so severe that the work environment becomes offensive, intimidating, or abusive.

Finally, when the victim’s desire or ability to work has been affected, and their employer has failed to investigate and address the issue or knew about it and did not adequately intervene, he or she may have a case for harassment or discrimination.

At Romero Law, APC, our experienced Pasadena employment law attorneys take a hands-on approach to pursuing actual results our clients can count on, because we are more than just their lawyer, but their advocate.

We connect with our clients to understand the grief and despair their employers have caused them personally and professionally, so we can remedy the unlawful and degrading mistreatment they have endured, so they can confidently move past this challenging time with a clear win.

Our bilingual law firm staff offers services in both English and Spanish and is available now to discuss your case during a free consultation by calling 626-396-9900 or contacting us online.

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