In this day and age, most people know that race-based harassment in the workplace is illegal. However, what exactly qualifies as race-based harassment is not as equally clear to most. There are some forms of harassment which are very obvious, but with the exception of the most obvious examples on the far end of the extremes, it can be difficult for employees to know if what they are experiencing is actually illegal harassment or just a tasteless but harmless joke by a superior.
Race Based Harassment is Illegal
It is important to state at the outset that harassment in the workplace is illegal under both state and federal law. 42 USC § 1981 prohibits racial discrimination, which includes hostile work environment harassment claims. Similarly, the Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits harassment based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status. Verbal harassment in the workplace also may constitute employment discrimination under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
When Do Racist Jokes Qualify As Illegal Harassment?
Of course, not every utterance of a racial slur in the workplace violates the FEHA or Title VII. In general harassment cannot be occasional, isolated, sporadic, or trivial. A plaintiff must generally show a concerted pattern of harassment of a repeated, routine, or a generalized nature. To be actionable, harassment must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment.
Contact Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. To Speak with An Experienced Employment Harassment Attorney
The Akopyan Law Firm A.P.C. is the premier choice for folks in Glendale, Burbank, Hollywood, and the surrounding areas who need help from an employment lawyer. The firm has a long track record of securing justice for its clients. Each attorney at the firm has been practicing employment law for well over a decade. Call today for a complimentary case evaluation.