Bartz Law Group

Employee Rights Advocates

Actions to take if harassed at the workplace in California

Actions to take if harassed at the workplace in California

Employees who experience workplace harassment have a right to have their complaints investigated, according to California’s anti-harassment law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA. Employees who are the victims of harassment can sue their employers or the harassers for monetary losses.

The measures that a harassed employee can take to enforce their rights under the Fair Employment and Housing Act of California are:

Inform the Employer of the Harassment

If you have been the victim of workplace harassment, inform your employer as soon as possible. By doing so, you can help prevent further harassment from occurring and also protect yourself from potential liability.

When informing your employer of the harassment, provide as much detail as possible. This includes describing the behavior that made you feel harassed, the responsible party, and when the conduct occurred. If you have any documentation or witnesses who could corroborate your story, mention that.

After you have reported the harassment to your employer, keeping a record of what happened is important. This includes keeping a journal of events, saving relevant emails or documents, and speaking with witnesses. These records will be helpful if you need further action, such as filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or filing a lawsuit.

File a Harassment Complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

You can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) if your employer does not take prerequisite action after informing them of your harassment incident. The DFEH is responsible for investigating claims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

The investigator will contact you to discuss your complaint and may also contact witnesses or other individuals with knowledge of the incident. The investigator will then prepare a report which a supervisor will review.

If the DFEH finds sufficient evidence to support your claim, they will take action against the individual or employer who committed the harassment. This may include ordering them to stop the harassing behavior, providing monetary compensation for damages, or requiring them to take corrective measures such as participating in training on anti-discrimination or anti-harassment policies.

File a Harassment Lawsuit Against Your Harasser or Your Employer

There are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not to pursue legal action, including:

  1. What type of harassment are you dealing with? If it’s sexual harassment, you may have a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the harassment is based on another protected characteristic like race, religion, or national origin, you may have a claim under state or local anti-discrimination laws.
  2. Who is the harasser? Is it your supervisor, a co-worker, or someone else in the organization? If it’s your supervisor, you may have a claim against the employer for failing to prevent or stop the harassment. If it’s a co-worker, you may still have a claim against the employer if the company knew about the harassment and failed to take appropriate action.
  3. What evidence do you have? Did you keep copies of any offensive emails or texts? Do you have witnesses who can corroborate your story? The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
  4. Whether or not you’re willing to go through with a trial. A trial can be long and stressful, and there’s no guarantee you’ll win. If you decide to pursue legal action, speak with employment lawyers in southern California to help you navigate the process.

You can take many actions if you’re harassed at work in Southern California. Consider consulting with an attorney to see if you have any legal recourse. Whatever you do, do not suffer in silence. Make sure you stand up for yourself and get the help you need.