Questions About Email Harassment?
Our Los Angeles Email Harassment Attorneys Can Help
Modern technology has swiftly revolutionized our world, our lives and our methods of communication. Our laws, however, are only slowly catching up with all this change.Since online harassment laws are fairly new, our Los Angeles email harassment attorneys will guide you throughout the claims process in the employment context. We have compiled the following list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand email harassment at your job.
California Email Harassment Frequently Asked Questions
- How Does the Law Define Email Harassment?
- What Should I Do If I Am Receiving Threatening or Harassing Emails From My Supervisor or Coworker?
- How Many Threatening Emails Does It Take to Be Considered Email Harassment?
- How Do I Determine the Difference Between a Negative Email and Email Harassment?
- How Do I Prove That I Am the Victim of Email Harassment at My Job?
- What Is the Process for Filing an Email Harassment Complaint Against My Employer?
How Does the Law Define Email Harassment?
Harassment, under California employment law, can be of a sexual or non-sexual nature. Emails which allude to engaging in sexual activities may fall under “quid pro quo” sexual harassment or “hostile work environment” sexual harassment. Emails intended to harass or bully the recipient fall under “hostile work environment” harassment. Emails which contain threatening messages or content which causes the recipient distress, fear or anger will also qualify as email harassment.
Further, California online harassment law states that it is illegal to use an electronic device to repeatedly contact someone with the intention to harass or annoy them. It is also illegal to send a singular message that contains obscene or threatening language.
What Should I Do If I Am Receiving Threatening or Harassing Emails From My Supervisor or Coworker?
There are a few things you can do if you are receiving inappropriate or unsettling emails at work. You should first tell either a supervisor or someone in the Human Resources department about the emails.
If no action is taken by your employer, then you should consider filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). If you choose to file, then the DFEH might investigate your complaint and determine if they want to pursue an investigation on your behalf. An experienced employment lawyer can help determine if filing a complaint with the DFEH is right for you.
Lastly, you can file a lawsuit against the offending supervisor or coworker for damages. However, this can only be done once you have received a right-to-sue letter from the DFEH. An experienced employment law attorney can assess whether you have a viable employment claim.
How Many Threatening Emails Does It Take to Be Considered Email Harassment?
Under California law, it is illegal to make contact with another person with the intention to threaten them. This means that even one single email which contains threatening language may qualify as email harassment. A Los Angeles email harassment lawyer can help you determine if a specific email contains threatening language.
How Do I Determine the Difference Between a Negative Email and Email Harassment?
Not all email exchanges will qualify as harassment. Sometimes, email messages contain simple, petty annoyances. Other times, they may contain critical information about your performance. However, there are other emails that are illegal under the law. There are some obvious signs to look for in deciding whether a particular email has crossed the line.
If an email contains a threat to you, your family or your property, then it qualifies as harassment. If the sender contacts you repeatedly against your desires, then this too may qualify as harassment. Lastly, if an email contains obscene language or images, then it may qualify as harassment. Our Los Angeles email harassment lawyers can help you assess an email and determine whether or not you should pursue legal recourse.
How Do I Prove That I Am the Victim of Email Harassment at My Job?
Proving that you are a victim of email harassment requires showing that the sender wrote the offending email, or allowed it to be sent. This can be done by saving or printing off a copy of the email(s) with the relevant information displayed. You should also take steps to preserve the electronic version of the email as it contains valuable metadata about the sender.
You will also need a strong argument for why the message involved is either obscene, threatening or that multiple messages constitute annoyance.
Lastly, and most difficult to prove, is the intention of the sender. If the sender was acting in good faith, then the email does not qualify as harassment. However, if the sender’s intention was to harass, threaten or annoy you, then sending the email was illegal. Proving this element will remain largely up to the details of your individual case, so it is important to discuss your case with an employment law attorney.
What Is the Process for Filing an Email Harassment Complaint Against My Employer?
You should first review and comply with your employer’s anti-harassment policies. If there are no such policies, then you should speak with a supervisor or with your Human Resources department. You should make sure that you submit your complaint or concerns in writing.
You can also file a complaint with the DFEH. They will be able to investigate your claim or issue you a right-to-sue notice.
If you choose to file a lawsuit for damages, then you should speak with an experienced attorney. He or she can help you develop a clear plan for each phase of your harassment claim.
Contact Our Los Angeles Email Harassment Attorneys to Learn More
No one should live in fear of harassment, whether it be in-person or online. Unfortunately, it still happens all the time. If you are experiencing email harassment, then the attorneys at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP encourage you to seek help.
To explore your legal options, contact one of our Los Angeles email harassment attorneys through our online form. You can also call us at (310) 499-0140 to schedule a free consultation.