At Berger & Williams, LLP, we handle sexual harassment claims and discrimination cases. Our team of experienced sexual harassment and discrimination attorneys in San Diego is dedicated to ensuring all such matters are handled appropriately and effectively.
Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace are illegal. But, determining what is unlawful conduct is not always easy, and addressing and resolving reports of harassment and discrimination can be challenging.
Every employee has the right to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination, and every employer should reasonably attempt to avoid such claims by mandatory training, ensuring proper investigations, and implanting appropriate corrective measures. We at Berger & Williams, LLP have counseled and litigated hundreds of clients regarding claims. We have even been hired as independent trainers and investigators to address a company’s obligations. Employers are legally required to promptly and thoroughly investigate such claims, whether believed or not, to remedy unlawful acts and prevent future acts of harassment or discrimination; those requirements apply even if an employee does not report harassment or discrimination until after the employee is terminated or resigns.
An often-misunderstood issue regarding harassment and discrimination involves complaints by employees of a “hostile environment.” But, not every issue in the workplace creates an unlawful hostile environment. Simply reporting a situation about a boss or co-worker being mean or disrespectful is usually not a legally-protected complaint. A boss yelling at a worker for performance issues is also usually not a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is a legal term, meaning, “because of discrimination or sexual harassment.” So, a report simply of, “my boss is mean to me” is usually not protected. But, when misconduct is rooted in sex harassment or discrimination, then it becomes a protected complaint, triggering the company’s obligations to protect the employee and conduct an investigation to prevent future instances of harassment of discrimination. Employees need be careful how to make such complaints and, when receiving such complaints, employers should engage an experienced employment lawyer to properly respond.