A hostile work environment is created when there is repeated and ongoing harassing conduct by a supervisor, employer’s representative, clients, other employees, or anyone in the workplace. A hostile work environment is not created when there are just a few incidents or derogatory comments made. The employee should show that this harassing conduct seriously affected the employee’s psychological well-being, made working conditions intolerable, and affected the employee’s work performance.
The employee does not have to be the direct victim of the harassment to experience a hostile work environment. Some examples of conduct that can create a hostile work environment can include threats to the employee’s safety; sexual harassment; offensive touch or gestures; and derogatory comments about an employee’s looks, body, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender, or disabilities.
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION ACCOMMODATION
If you are pregnant, your employer is required to reasonably accommodate you if necessary (as they would someone with a physical disability), by adjusting your work duties or schedule. Additionally, working parents in California – both mothers and fathers – can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental leave to spend time with their new child.
Upon a mothers’ return to work, if she is expressing breast milk for her child, the employer must provide a reasonable amount of lactation break time to accommodate the employee in doing so. The employer must also make reasonable efforts to provide the use of a room or other location for the employee to express milk in private, other than a toilet stall.
Workplace retaliation occurs when an employer demotes, suspends, fires, or otherwise punishes an employee for engaging in a “protected activity.”
Some of these protected activities include filing a wage claim, taking time off to serve on a jury, refusing to perform unsafe work, or complaining about health and safety hazards. Oftentimes, if an adverse action is taken against you by your employer immediately after you make a work complaint, you have most likely suffered workplace retaliation.
The State of California supports “at-will” employment, which means an employee can be fired by their employer for any reason and without warning.
However, in some situations, when the termination of an employee is the result of discrimination, retaliation, refusal by the employee to commit unsafe or illegal acts, in violation of an employment agreement, or because an employee took leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, a case can be made that the employee was wrongfully discharged from their job.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can give certain employees the right to take a leave of absence from work for disability leave, pregnancy leave, maternity and paternity leave, medical leave for yourself or a family member, military leave, and leave for jury duty.
If your employer takes adverse employment action against you for taking a protected leave of absence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages resulting from that action.
GET A FREE CASE EVALUATION WITH PARRIS WORK LAWYERS
If you believe that your rights are being violated at work, contact PARRIS work lawyers for a free case evaluation today. PARRIS lawyers are experts in employment law, and have recovered over $500 Million for employees from their employers. PARRIS attorneys can advise you whether you may have a case, and if you do, will take your case on a contingency basis. That means you pay absolutely no fees until we win you the compensation you deserve.