7 Steps To Prove Hostile Work Environment Caused By Coworker

Atmospheres that are sufficiently demeaning to women may be actionable as a hostile work environment even if the environment is not coercive or directed towards the plaintiff, Mille at 469-470 (1995); Beyda v. City of L.A., 65 Cal.App.4th 521; Pantoja v. Anton, 198 Cal.App.4th 87 (2011) where the court held evidence of harassment towards other women was admissible to show discriminatory intent or biased intent based upon gender even though the conduct occurred outside of her presence when she did not work for Defendant; Hurley v. Atlantic, 174 F.3d 95, 110 (3rd Cir. 1999) witnessing harassment of other women at work may show that the workplace was hostile; Weeks v. Baker, 63 Cal.4th 1128, 1160-1163 (1998); Bihun v. AT&T, 13 Cal.App.4th 976, 987-991 (1993). Impliedly or expressing conditioning employment on the submission to or tolerance of unwelcome sexual advances, or the creation of a work environment that is hostile or abusive on the basis of sex is sexual harassment, McGroy v. Applied, 212 Cal.App.4th 1510 (2013). “Harassment focuses on situations in which the social environment of the workplace becomes intolerable because the harassment (whether verbal, physical, or visual) communicates an offensive message to the harassed employee, Roby v. McKesson, 47 Cal.4th 686, 707 (2009).

To establish an employee was subjected to a hostile or abusive work environment because coworkers at their job were subjected to sexual harassment they must prove all of the following:

  1. Although not personally subjected to the unwanted harassing conduct of his or her coworkers, the employee personally witnessed harassing conduct in their immediate work environment;
  2. That the harassing conduct was severe or pervasive;
  3. That a reasonable man or woman in the employee’s circumstances would have considered the work environment to be hostile or abusive;
  4. That the employee considered the work environment to be hostile or abusive towards men or women;
  5. That a supervisor engaged in the conduct; or that the employer or its supervisors or agents knew or should have known of the conduct and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action;
  6. That the employee was harmed; and
  7. That the conduct was a substantial factor in causing the employee’s harm.

Examples of Hostile Work Environments Directed Towards Others Include:

  • Another employee is being sexually harassed in your presence
  • A supervisor who has a reputation of sexually harassing other employees, or customers
  • Constant sexual jokes
  • Employees called nicknames like, “Double D,” or the name of a salacious actress
  • Management’s knowledge of customer sexual harassment towards coworkers and management refuses to stop the sexual harassment

Although this article is about sexual harassment, hostile work environments can also be based upon age, disability, gender, or race. If you have questions about what constitutes a hostile work environment you can sue for contact our law firm. We are experienced in California hostile work environment cases. Call 877-525-0700 for a confidential discussion about your workplace rights.