Legal Basis for Harassment

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“Discrimination” means being treated differently or unfairly. Discrimination in the workplace is illegal if the treatment is based on a personal characteristic or status, such as sex or race, which is protected by anti-discrimination laws. Since the law prohibits discrimination only on the basis of certain protected categories, not all forms of discriminatory or unfair treatment are illegal. Discrimination can be expressed as “harassment” when a boss, supervisor or co-worker says or does something that creates an intimidating, hostile or threatening work environment. Harassment is illegal if it is based on a characteristic or personal status protected by anti-discrimination laws. To be illegal, the harassment must be so “severe or pervasive” that it affects the employee`s ability to perform the work. Several federal and state laws protect people from many types of discrimination in employment. There are various federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, including, but not limited to: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin (including characteristics related to national origin, such as language), religion and pregnancy; The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability; The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age (40+). The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin and citizenship.

42 U.S.C. Section 1981 (“Civil Rights Act of 1866”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in the ability to “enter into and perform contracts,” which has been interpreted to apply to many aspects of employment. California`s primary anti-employment discrimination law is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity (including transgender status), health status (cancer), pregnancy, marital status and military status. Additional protections against discrimination can be found in the California Labor Code, including protection for victims of crimes who testify in court, employees who take time off to serve on a jury, and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment. Sexual harassment as sex discrimination in Title VII must be demonstrated by demonstrating that the harasser targeted or was generally hostile to a gender, regardless of the sex of the harasser or victim. The harasser can be the victim`s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or client. In fact, a victim of sexual harassment does not necessarily have to be the person directly harassed; The victim could be an employee who is indirectly but negatively affected by the offensive behavior. Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other behavior of a sexual nature are considered sexual harassment if: Discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Discrimination on the basis of disability can occur in two ways. The first is when workers or applicants are treated differently because of their physical or mental disability. The second occurs when management does not make reasonable provision for obstruction conditions. Employees are encouraged to inform the harasser directly that the behaviour is undesirable and must stop. Employees should also report harassment to management early on to prevent escalation. Sexual harassment in return: When hiring decisions – such as promotions, duties, or maintaining your job – are based on your willingness to submit to sexual harassment. Management must take immediate corrective action to investigate and eliminate harassing behaviour. All information will be treated confidentially as far as possible. Policy on Harassing Behaviour – The Ministry has determined that the most effective way to curb harassing behaviour is to treat it as inappropriate behaviour, even if it does not meet the level of harassment permitted by law.