What Do the California Laws Say About Hostile Work Environments?

Have you ever felt uncomfortable at work? Has your boss made an inappropriate comment about you? Have you repeatedly felt like you are the target of distasteful jokes and comments? Do you feel like your employer mistreats you or discriminates against you in any form? If so, you might be experiencing a hostile work environment. If you are the victim of a hostile work environment, you can take legal action against your employer. Did you know that there are laws both at the federal and state levels that protect all employees from being subjected to hostile work environments?

The following sections provide general information about the laws that protect employees from hostile work environments. For information that directly pertains to your situation, you will need to contact an attorney with experience in hostile work environment cases. If you have been victimized in a hostile work environment anywhere in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County, or Riverside County, you must contact California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group as soon as possible to speak with an attorney.

Hostile Work Environment Laws in California


Unfortunately, many employees are unaware of the California hostile workplace laws. Because employees do not know their rights as employees can protect them, they often do not do anything to counter the hostile work environment. Victimized employees allow the abuse to continue because of the fear that their employer could fire them. If you experienced a hostile work environment in Los Angeles, you might want information on hostile work environment laws in Los Angeles County. However, the laws apply to every county in California; below, you will find more information on these California laws.

On the federal level, employees are protected from hostile work environments based on any protected status as outlined by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On the state level, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has an act—the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)—that offers protection to all employees. The FEHA prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, religion, disability, marital status, medical condition, military status, genetic information, national origin, race, sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Why is this relevant? Any form of discrimination or harassment based on a FEHA protected status can be considered a hostile work environment under the appropriate conditions.  What are these conditions?

Unfortunately, a one-time incident is not enough to file a lawsuit against your employer claiming a hostile work environment. The incidents must occur on a regular basis, so regular that the employee feels intimidated or threatened in his or her workplace. An employer might show negative conduct towards an employee, but for conduct to contribute to a work environment, it should be characterized by the following:

  • The victim should consider the conduct abusive.
  • A reasonable person should objectively consider the conduct severe and pervasive.

Other factors that affect whether a work environment is considered hostile include the frequency and severity of the incidents, the type of incident (physical threat, humiliation, or offensive speech), the incident’s effect on the victim’s work performance and general wellbeing, and the status of the party or parties responsible.

Regrettably, many victims fail to recognize the incidents that can eventually cause a hostile environment. Victims might confuse inappropriate comments for playful teasing or a result of a bad mood. Open discussion of sexual activities, jokes based on a FEHA protected status, comments based on the victim’s characteristics, or inappropriate gestures and language should all be red flags. Any of these incidents can lead to a hostile work environment if frequent enough. A hostile work environment can affect victims emotionally and mentally, so it is important for victims to take action as soon as possible.

If the hostile work environment created by your employer is violating FEHA, what should you do? The law prohibits hostile work environments based on FEHA protected statuses. The first thing you should do is reflect on the situation and identify whether your workplace has a hostile environment. Regarding taking legal action, you have two options—filing a complaint with the DFEH or filing an independent lawsuit. To file with the DFEH, you will have to make a complaint to the department. An investigator will contact you upon receipt of your complaint and will ask you for more information. Based on the details you provide, the DFEH will decide whether to investigate your claim—primarily looking for a violation of the law. If the department proceeds with the investigation, they will attempt resolution. Upon further investigation, and identification of violations, the department will attempt mediation between the parties involved. If mediation fails, the DFEH might file a lawsuit against the employer. If you want to file a lawsuit independently, you will have to request the right to sue from the DFEH. This permanently closes their investigation and allows you to sue. You will need to hire an attorney with experience in hostile work environments to handle your case. California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can help you file your lawsuit against your employer. The attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group have the expertise necessary to sue your boss and get you the compensation you deserve for being subjected to a hostile work environment.

California Employment Attorneys Group
Our law firm—California Employment Attorneys Group—is dedicated to helping the victims of hostile work environments to stand up for themselves and take action against Hostile work environments can cause mental and emotional damage to victimized employees and might prevent the victim from performing his or her job. The workplace should be a neutral area where all employees are treated with respect and are allowed to perform their duties. Some employers, however, target employees and create intimidating working conditions. If you are being victimized in your place of work, you might be experiencing a hostile work environment. You must take legal action immediately—you have rights as an employee. You should contact California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group as soon as possible to begin your lawsuit against your employer.

California Employment Attorneys Group understands the mental and emotional stress that a hostile work environment can cause. Many people associate filing a lawsuit with increased stress levels; here at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, we want to make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We facilitate access to our legal team by offering free consultations and free second opinions. During your free consultation, you can expect our skilled hostile work environment attorneys to answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns. Our attorneys will explain all you need to know about the rights of employees in California a hostile work environment. We guarantee that you will have all the information necessary to gain confidence in filing a lawsuit against your employer. If you already have an attorney with another law firm, you might still be interested in our attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group giving you a free second opinion. Consider your current situation with your attorney. Do you feel like you are missing important information regarding your case, leaving you searching for answers from outside sources? Unfortunately, many attorneys prioritize the number of cases they can see during the day, so they often rush through consultations and overlook and neglect key pieces of information. If attorneys overlook or neglect information that is essential to the success of the case, the lawsuit might have a negative outcome. Do not risk the result of your lawsuit because of the incompetence of your current attorney. You must contact California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group as soon as possible to speak with an attorney with experience in hostile work environment cases. Our attorneys will give you and your case all the time necessary to ensure that we have covered all angles and given you all the information necessary to ensure a successful lawsuit. As soon as you can, contact California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group and schedule a free second opinion or a free consultation.

California Employment Attorneys Group’s free consultations and free second opinions come from the law firms Zero-Fee guarantee that ensures that you never have to worry about paying any upfront fees for our legal services. Additionally, our law firm is strictly based on contingency, so you will not have to pay anything until our hostile work environment lawyers win your lawsuit against your employer. If you are experiencing a hostile work environment in the Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County, or Riverside County, do not hesitate to contact the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group and take legal action against your employer.

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