It’s always wise to understand as much as you can about your rights as an employee, including what right you have to expect your employer to provide a workplace that’s free from harassment and discrimination.

When people think about workplace harassment, they typically envision a supervisor or a co-worker making sexual advances to an employee. While this is one form of workplace harassment, there are many other ways harassment occurs. Unfortunately, some of them may be subtle, making it difficult for victims to know for sure.

To help you identify subtle forms of workplace discrimination when you return to your job, we offer the following examples.

  • Exclusion from projects, meetings or other workplace events based on a discriminatory reason
  • Jokes or harassing remarks about gender, religion, disability, age or any other protected status
  • Unwarranted disciplinary actions that are the result of discrimination, harassment or retaliation
  • Lack of opportunities for promotion because of your inclusion in a protected class of people
  • Less pay than co-workers with similar job duties which seems to be motivated by your inclusion in a protected class

You might have noticed that the examples above look a lot like discrimination instead of harassment. Workplace harassment is a form of discrimination and it is typically not lawful under the nation’s employment laws.

Some people believe that victims of discrimination and harassment in the workplace should just quit and get another job. This is certainly an option, but it is much more beneficial to the rest of the nation’s workforce for victims to speak out against these behaviors. Guidance from an employment law attorney can help victims take a stand safely and without fear of retaliation.

Please, continue reviewing the information on our website to improve your understanding of how these workplace issues affect all California employees.