What is Workplace Harassment?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal rules, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, covers employers with at least fifteen workers. Harassment is defined in these federal laws as verbal or physical conduct that is unwelcome based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender/gender identity, nationality, age (40 or older), physical or mental disability, or genetic information.
In Meridian and all cities in Idaho, employees are protected from discrimination and retaliation when they experience offensive behavior at work. This is especially true if the behavior comes from a superior. Finally, supervisor harassment that changes an employee’s salary or position is against the law.
Types of Workplace Harassment
Workplace harassment can present itself in several ways. Typical workplace bullying and harassment forms include slurs, epithets, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, derision, insults, and hurtful photographs.
Harassment at the workplace can take many forms, including sexual harassment, which might be heterosexual or same-sex.
Offensive employee behavior isn’t just directed at the targets of harassment but also toward coworkers who witness it. While it’s understandable for everyone to feel intimidated when they witness such intimidating behavior, it’s important to remember that isolated incidents are not actually against the law. The federal law does not guarantee workers a pleasant workplace; instead, it ensures that workplaces are free of intimidation, animosity, and abuse.
What Laws Protect Idaho Employees From Workplace Harassment?
In Idaho, residents are protected from workplace harassment by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with additional protections under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which apply to employers with fifteen or more employees and by the Idaho Human Rights Act, if the company has five or more employees.
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its landmark decision in the case Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII includes employment discrimination against an individual based on sexual orientation or transgender status.
However, to date, the Idaho Human Rights Act or other legislation has not extended the protections of this state law based on sexual orientation or transgender status. Individual cities have passed protections, although there is nothing yet statewide.
What Should I Do if I Am Harassed at Work?
There are legal options available to you. Most importantly, consult immediately with a skilled and experienced Idaho workplace harassment lawyer to help you document your experiences and develop a strategy to assert your legal rights. Idaho Employment Law Solutions is here to consult and guide you through this disturbing period of your life toward a legal remedy.
Preparing For Your Consultation With a Meridian Employment Lawyer
Acknowledge that you are experiencing workplace harassment
Merely ignoring the situation does not end it. Passivity in the face of abuse and intimidation, especially sexual harassment, does not stop the offender. Workplace harassment is often perceived and experienced by others who might not be the targets of the aggression. Get into action mode and find out what others have seen or heard, get their names, and form alliances.
Review your employee handbook
Reporting the harassment under the procedures prescribed in the handbook helps preserve all of your options, especially when filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a prerequisite to filing suit under Title VII. However, do not file an internal complaint without consulting an experienced Meridian workplace harassment lawyer.
Keep notes with dates, times, and witnesses
Protect yourself by documenting the harassment. These notes are substantial evidence in any administrative or judicial proceeding.
Stay at the job and do your best
Since workplace harassment is illegal, you should not have to leave your job. Instead, stay in place, continue to do your best, and begin the process of asserting your rights. Your contribution to the workplace is your best ammunition in any complaint.
Workplace Harassment FAQs
What should I do if I witness workplace harassment?
If you witness workplace harassment, you should consult your employee handbook and follow the procedures. Tell your immediate superior about the incident if you do not have an employee handbook. Try to avoid giving the harasser any attention or encouragement. Be sure to tell others, including your family and friends, so you do not feel isolated in your experience.
Does harassment outside of work still qualify as harassment?
The harassment can occur on-site or off, especially sexual harassment. For example, suppose some work colleagues gather in a local bar. In that case, behaviors there can become illegally harassing, especially if a supervisor or someone who has power over you misbehaves.
Workplace Discrimination FAQs
What is workplace discrimination?
Workplace discrimination is when an employee is treated differently or unfairly compared to others based on specific characteristics, such as race, sex, age, disability, or religion.
What are some examples of workplace discrimination?
Some examples of workplace discrimination include being denied a promotion because of your race, being passed over for a job because of your religion, or being paid less than other employees because of your sex.
What are the consequences of workplace discrimination?
The consequences of workplace discrimination can be severe, both for the victim and the company as a whole. Employees who have been discriminated against may suffer from lowered self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. They may also have difficulty finding new employment. Discrimination can also lead to lawsuits, which can be costly for the company.
What can I do if I think I’ve been a victim of workplace discrimination?
If you think you’ve been a victim of workplace discrimination, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer. They can help you determine whether you have a claim and, if so, what your next steps should be.
Contact a Meridian Workplace Harassment Lawyer
Idaho Employment Law Solutions is an African-American and Veteran-owned law firm providing quality and efficient legal counsel to businesses, organizations, employers/ employees, and individual multi-cultural clients throughout Meridian and the state of Idaho.
Idaho Employment Law Solutions is skilled in handling charges of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, race, national origin, and pregnancy submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Idaho Human Rights Commission, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor. Idaho Employment Law Solutions has extensive experience handling employee complaints about discrimination or harassment before those complaints become official discrimination charges. Idaho Employment Law Solutions is experienced in guiding its business clients through sexual harassment investigations and provides advice on a case-by-case basis about the most effective way for the employer and employee to address discrimination claims.
Contact Idaho Employment Law Solutions in Meridian, ID, at (208) 672-6112 to make an appointment. Legal advice will not be provided over the telephone.
There will be a $75 charge for an initial consultation.