Sexual harassment at work can take many forms. It can include unwanted touching, staring, or other physical acts, sexual advances, comments, "jokes," intimidation, abuse, or requests for sexual favors. Sexual harassment does not have to be explicitly sexual to be illegal. Sexual harassment can also take the form of quid pro quo (this-for-that) harassment, where certain opportunities or terms are conditioned on the victim's submission to the request.
Sexual harassment that causes a hostile work environment is illegal. If you are dealing with sexual harassment at work, you need to notify your employer, but you also need to protect yourself against possible retaliation. Please call us right away so we can try to help you.
Racial harassment at work can include racial slurs, racial violence, racial remarks, comments, or jokes, the display of racially-offensive symbols, race-based excessive scrutiny, race-based monitoring, worse treatment based on race, or any other physical or verbal harassment, intimidation, or abuse because of your race. The harassment need not be explicitly racial. Any offensive conduct based on race is considered racial harassment.
Racial harassment that causes a hostile, work environment is illegal. If you are dealing with racial harassment at work, you need to notify your employer. But, you also need to protect yourself against possible retaliation for reporting discrimination. Please call us right away so we can try to help you.
Federal law and many state laws prohibit employers and other entities from treating an individual unfavorably because of their sex. In the employment context, for example, sex discrimination might include an employee being denied promotions, paid less, given worse job assignments, being denied training opportunities, or fired, among various other decisions that effect a term or condition of employment.
Importantly, unlawful sex discrimination also includes sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.
Federal laws and many state laws prohibit employers and other entities from treating an individual unfavorably because of their race. In the employment context, for example, racial discrimination might include an employee being denied promotions, paid less, given worse job assignments, being denied training opportunities, or fired, among various other decisions that effect a term or condition of employment.
Retaliation is unfortunately a very common form of discrimination. Federal law and many state laws prohibit entities from punishing an individual for asserting their rights to be free from discrimination. Asserting this right is called protected activity. Examples of protected activity could include: reporting discrimination; being a witness or otherwise participating in a discrimination investigation, reporting discrimination; refusing orders to engage in discrimination; resisting discrimination or advocating for a victim, requesting accommodations for a disability, or using FMLA leave, among various other forms of protected activity. It is illegal to subject an individual who has engaged in protected activity to a materially adverse action, which is any action that that would dissuade a reasonable person from engaging in protected activity. In the employment context, an adverse action might include retaliatory harassment, transfers, shift changes, discipline, negative evaluations, and of course, any decisions that directly impact your employment status, such as being fired.
If you suspect you are dealing with retaliation at work, please call us right away so you can try to help you.
In 2020, the Supreme Court held in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII's protections against sex discrimination extend to discrimination based on an employee's sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including transgender status. Many states also have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. This means it is illegal for an employer to treat an employee unfavorably or to subject an employee to a hostile work environment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Protected Characteristic Harassment and Discrimination
Federal law and many state laws protect individuals from discrimination based on a protected characteristic or status, including but not limited to: