Monday, March 19, 2007
Both California and Federal law have generally defined sexual harassment as unwanted sexual conduct of two main types: quid pro quo harassment and hostile environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when employment is conditioned, expressly or impliedly, on the submission to unwelcome sexual advances. See Nichols v. Frank (9th Cir 1994) 42 F.3d 503. Hostile environment harassment generally occurs when the plaintiff's work environment is made hostile or abusive by sexual misconduct. See, Doe v. Capital Cities (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1038, 1045; Mogilefsky v. Superior Court (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 1409, 1414; Montero v. AGCO Corp. (9th Cir 1999) 192 F.3d 856, 860; Fuller v. City of Oakland (9th Cir 1995) 47 F.3d 1522, 1527.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Monday, March 5, 2007
In California workplace harassment is prohibited. Most people think this only applies to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is certainly the most common form of harassment we see in our Courts, on TV, and in the media, but it is not the only kind of harassment. Harassment claims based on a Hostile Work Environment Theory may include harassment based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, and of course, sex. Many on the examples in this Blog will involve sexual harassment. However, when discussing Hostile Work Environment, be mindful of these other areas.
Under California Law the harasser is personally liable to the victim of the harassment. If the harasser is a supervisor, or in a supervisory position, the employer is also liable to the victim. For example, if a manager of a fast food restaurant is found liable of sexual harassment for giving unwelcomed massages to the employees, the owner of that fast food restaurant is also liable. This is the case even if the owner has no knowledge of the manager's actions. The owner may be an individual, a partnership, a corporation, or some other kind of legal entity.