Work Place Harassment Law and Legal Definition

Workplace harassment is any unwanted or undesirable conduct that puts down or shows hostility or an aversion toward another person at the workplace. It is an act done by any person at the workplace intending to make the other uncomfortable. Harassment may be by the employers, co-workers, or customers. Workplace harassment may be based on an individual's race, sex, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, medical condition, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, family, looks or other characteristics protected by law.

Following is an example of a state law dealing with harassment:

2 CCR § 7287.6. (b) Harassment.

(1) Harassment includes but is not limited to:

(A) Verbal harassment, e.g., epithets, derogatory comments or slurs on a basis enumerated in the Act;
(B) Physical harassment, e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement, when directed at an individual on a basis enumerated in the Act;
(C) Visual forms of harassment, e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings on a basis enumerated in the Act; or
(D) Sexual favors, e.g., unwanted sexual advances which condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors. [See also Section 7291.1 (f) (l).]
(E) In applying this subsection, the rights of free speech and association shall be accommodated consistently with the intent of this subsection.
(2) Harassment of an applicant or employee by an employer or other covered entity, its agents or supervisors is unlawful.
(3) Harassment of an applicant or employee by an employee other than those listed in subsection (b)(2) above is unlawful if the employer or other covered entity, its agents or supervisors knows of such conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. Proof of such knowledge may be direct or circumstantial. If the employer or other covered entity, its agents or supervisors did not know but should have known of the harassment, knowledge shall be imputed unless the employer or other covered entity can establish that it took reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring. Such steps may include affirmatively raising the subject of harassment, expressing strong disapproval, developing appropriate sanctions, informing employees of their right to raise and how to raise the issue of harassment under California law, and developing methods to sensitize all concerned.
(4) An employee who has been harassed on the job by a co-employee should inform the employer or other covered entity of the aggrievement; however, an employee's failure to give such notice is not an affirmative defense.
(c) Physical Appearance, Grooming, and Dress Standards. It is lawful for an employer or other covered entity to impose upon an employee physical appearance, grooming, or dress standards. However, if such a standard discriminates on a basis enumerated in the Act and if it also significantly burdens the individual in his or her employment, it is unlawful.
(d) Reasonable Discipline. Nothing in these regulations may be construed as limiting an employer's or other covered entity's right to take reasonable disciplinary measures which do not discriminate on a basis enumerated in the Act.
(e) Seniority. (Reserved.)