Harassment is not just an issue involving sexual harassment. Rather, harassment is a form of employment discrimination consisting of unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where (i) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or (ii) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Federal and state anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals, in violation of these laws.
The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. If the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that: (i) it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and (ii) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.
If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful harassment, you may have the right to pursue a legal claim. To discuss your questions regarding harassment, contact New Orleans attorney Christopher Williams at Chris@williamslitigation.com or 504.308.1438.