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Handling harassment at the workplace

Californian residents all deserve a welcoming and safe environment to work in. Unfortunately, not every workplace provides this. Here are some things to know about harassment at the workplace, how to identify it, and what can be done about it.

FindLaw first lays out the definition of what can constitute harassment at the workplace. First, the employee must face "verbal or physical conduct" that targets the victim's rage, ancestry, religion, disabilities, gender, marital status, or any other classification protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Next, the conduct itself must be unwelcomed by the recipient. Finally, the victim must show that this behavior has altered their conditions of employment and created an environment that is abusive.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) then discusses what can be done for those who find themselves victims of workplace harassment. Their first suggestion is to tell the person to stop, but only if the situation is comfortable and safe enough to do so. Barring that, a person can check the company's anti-harassment policies. The steps listed in the policy can then be followed. If there are no pre-existing policies, then a supervisor should be alerted to the situation. If speaking with a supervisor doesn't get results, an employee can file charges of discrimination with the EEOC and will remain protected under law from retaliation by employers.

Being harassed at work can severely damage a person's ability to get their job done and enjoy what they do. Victims can take serious steps to stopping the harassment and getting compensation they deserve.

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