Harassment Based on Race
Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers and employees are prohibited from harassing and/or discriminating against an individual based on their race. This includes making gestures, written comments, and verbal comments regarding an employee’s clothing, hair, speech, etc. Harassment in cases such as these is unlawful if it has been motivated based on race and it has created a hostile and unwelcoming work environment.
Because it is difficult to objectively evaluate these types of comments, harassment cases are often decided based on the context of the actions and the statistics on instances v. race within the company. The plaintiff must make it clear that the harassment was a result of race and not of personal differences.
It is also important that the employee has made it clear that the comments and actions of others have been bothering them and they wish it to stop. This also includes reporting the harassment to a supervisor, if the violator is a fellow employee. By law, employers are required to take all reasonable actions to prevent harassment in the workplace. Even if the comments are infrequent, they can still have a damaging effect on employees. If the harassment continues even after the employee has discussed it with a supervisor, the complainant will have a stronger case based on the fact that they approached both the violator as well as the supervisor about the harassment.
If you have been harassed in the workplace based on race contact Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani LLP for a free consultation.