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Sexual, Racial and Religious Harassment/Hostile Work Environment

Harassment/Hostile Work Environment

It is unlawful to harass a job applicant or employee because of that person’s sex, race, and/or religion. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual, racial or religious nature.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is frequent or severe enough that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

In the case of sexual harassment, both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.