The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines harassment as “unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.” Harassment is considered unlawful when:
- enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment; or
- the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
Harassment is a type of employment discrimination that violates federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). When a person is harassed by a co-worker, the employer could be vicariously liable or negligent.
Attorney for Co-Worker Harassment in Philadelphia, PA
Have you been the victim of harassment by a co-worker in Pennsylvania? You will want to contact Console Mattiacci Law, LLC for help holding your employer accountable.
Our employment lawyers in Philadelphia represent clients in Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and Bucks County in Pennsylvania as well as Camden County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Atlantic County, and Burlington County in New Jersey. Call 215-545-7676 right now to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Co-Worker Harassment in Pennsylvania
- What are some examples of conduct constituting harassment?
- When is an employer liable for a co-worker’s conduct?
- Where can I find more information about co-worker harassment in Philadelphia?
Harassment is conduct that becomes illegal when it creates a work environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people. In general, some of the most common kinds of harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Insulting or demeaning comments;
- Interference with work performance;
- Intimidation, ridicule, or mockery;
- Offensive jokes or pictures;
- Physical assaults;
- Threats; and
- Use of racial slurs.
The United States Supreme Court has made a number of decisions that have impacted co-worker harassment claims. In Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 118 S. Ct. 2257 (1998), and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 118 S. Ct. 2275 (1998), the Supreme Court held that employers are subject to vicarious liability for unlawful harassment by supervisors.
In Vance v. Ball State University, 133 S. Ct. 2434 (2013), however, the Supreme Court rejected in part the EEOC’s definition of “supervisor,” holding that an employee is a supervisor if the employer has empowered that employee “to take tangible employment actions against the victim, i.e., to effect a ‘significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits.’”
The Court stated that an employer is liable for hostile work environment harassment by employees who are not supervisors when the employer was “negligent in failing to prevent harassment from taking place.” The Court noted that vicarious liability sets a “more stringent standard” for the employer than the “minimum standard” of negligence theory.
Workplace Harassment | United States Department of Labor (DOL) — Visit this section of the DOL website to learn more about the two basic types of harassment. You can also find information about when harassing conduct violates the law. The website also contains a link to the Civil Rights Center to file an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint.
Properly Investigating Complaints of Harassment | American Bar Association (ABA) — View the full text of an ABA article discussing how harassment complaints should be investigated. The article touches on the importance of training, what to do once a problem is reported, and taking prompt and remedial action. You can also learn more about interviewing the victim, the harasser, and witnesses.
Find a Co-Worker Harassment Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA
If you were the victim of harassment by a co-worker in your place of employment, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Console Mattiacci Law, LLC helps individuals in communities all over Delaware County, Gloucester County, Montgomery County, Ocean County, Atlantic County, Bucks County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, and Chester County.
You can have our employment law attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call 215-545-7676 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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