Step-by-Step Guide to Dealing with Harassment under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
If you are being harassed in the workplace in California, it’s important to know your rights and how to protect yourself. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits harassment based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, and other protected characteristics. In this blog post, we’ll outline the step-by-step process for dealing with harassment under FEHA in the California workplace.
Step 1: Document the harassment.
The first step in dealing with harassment is to document the behavior. This may include keeping a record of the dates and details of the harassment, as well as any witnesses to the behavior. It’s important to be as specific as possible when documenting the harassment, as this will be helpful in building your case if you decide to take further action.
Step 2: Report the harassment to your employer.
If you are being harassed, it’s important to report the behavior to your employer. You can do this either orally or in writing, but it’s usually best to put your report in writing. This will provide a clear record of your complaint and make it easier for your employer to respond. In your report, be sure to specify the details of the harassment and any steps you have already taken to try to stop it.
Step 3: Consider your options for addressing the harassment.
After you have reported the harassment to your employer, you will need to consider your options for addressing the behavior. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to resolve the issue informally through your employer’s internal complaint process. Alternatively, you may need to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Step 4: Seek legal advice.
If you are being harassed at work, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced employment attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on your options for addressing the harassment. They can also help you gather any additional evidence and represent you in legal proceedings, if necessary.
Step 5: Take care of yourself.
Dealing with harassment can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, and it’s important to take care of yourself during this process. This may include seeking support from friends, family, or a counselor, and making sure to take breaks and practice self-care.
Dealing with harassment in the workplace can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, including documenting the harassment, reporting it to your employer, and seeking legal advice, you can protect yourself and take action to address the behavior. Remember, it’s important to act quickly if you are being harassed, as there are strict time limits for filing a complaint with the DFEH or EEOC and relevant evidence to support your claims such as witnesses and documents may no longer be available.