What is Workplace Harassment?

December 13, 2022

What is Workplace Harassment?

workplace harassment person confronts colleague

Workers deserve the right to work in a fair and safe place of employment, free of workplace harassment. 

Unfortunately, not everyone, including employers and fellow employees, follow the laws of workplace harassment or discrimination.  You need to know your rights as an employee if you find yourself in such a situation.

The law in California prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation.  


Discrimination is the disparate treatment of an employee based on inclusion in a protected class. There are various protected classes. Some examples include:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Race
  • Age 
  • Sex and Gender 
  • Disability 

Discrimination can even happen indirectly, in the form of jokes said in a non-aggressive manner.


The law defines two types of sexual harassment.

“Quid Pro Quo” –  When someone offers employment benefits in exchange for your sexual conduct. For example, a job promotion in exchange for sexual acts would be considered quid pro quo. 

“Hostile Work Environment” – When you are the victim of any unwanted sexual conduct or comments that interfere with your ability to work, or are severe enough to create a hostile work environment.

There are a number of behaviors that would be classified as sexual harassment, including but not limited to the below: 

  • Unsolicited or unwanted sexual advances or requests 
  • Unsolicited or unwanted sexual comments or jokes 
  • Unsolicited or unwanted sexual photos, emails, or text messages 
  • Unsolicited or unwanted sexual gestures
  • Physical touching
  • Assault 


Retaliation may occur when an employee is punished for engaging in an act protected by the law, such as reporting harassment or unsafe working conditions. Some common acts of retaliation include: 

  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Reduced pay or benefits 
  • Denial of promotion 
  • Denial of pay increase 
  • Transferal to another position or location

Discrimination, workplace harassment and retaliation are completely unacceptable. If you are a victim of one of these horrible acts at the workplace, contact our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys today.  We will be by your side during this mentally trying time. Our compassionate lawyers will help with building a case to bring you the maximum compensation.

Our firm has 3,000+ Cases Won in the last six years.  Contact us today about a completely free consultation


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