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Hostile work environment and sexual harassment in California

Workers in California have a number of rights, which employers may not violate. One of these rights involves the right to be free of a hostile work environment. Unfortunately, however, hostile work environments -- in which sexual harassment, unwanted touching, unwanted sexual advances, debasing sexual language and/or constant inappropriate comments are the norm -- are not uncommon in our state.

California law recognizes hostile work environment sexual harassment as one of the legal categories of sexual harassment. This kind of harassment is different from quid pro quo sexual harassment because hostile work environment harassment can be carried out by any employee, not just a superior. Furthermore, no threats, promises or potentially negative consequences are required for a co-worker's actions to be considered a hostile act of harassment.

Hostile work environment harassers tend to direct repeated unwanted behavior toward their victims. The behavior is based on sex and creates a work environment that would be considered intimidating, offensive and hostile to reasonable individuals. This means that if a reasonable person had been in the place of the victim, he or she would have found the behavior being directed at him or her offensive. In this respect, judging whether a specific behavior was harassing or not cannot be based on the subjective opinion of the victim alone.

Los Angeles residents who must contend with hostile work environment sexual harassment can put a stop to the harassment now. Indeed, every employee has the right to work in a peaceful workplace where he or she is not being bombarded with unwanted sexual advances and comments. At Bononi Law Group LLP, we are available to help you stand up for your employee rights and put a stop to on-the-job sexual harassment now.

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