Workplace Harassment – It Could Be Illegal

By law, you do not have to put up with workplace harassment. Find out your rights and what you can do in a free legal consultation, please call (503) 232-9280.

You deserve to work in an environment that is free of harassment, and in fact, it’s your legal right, covered by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

What constitutes harassment? You’ll find that’s completely open for interpretation.  Generally, the offensive behavior needs to be any unwelcome conduct that would be considered hostile, offensive, or intimidating, not only to you, but also to other reasonable people. Anti-discrimination laws prevent harassment based on: race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, age (40 or older, or over 18 in Oregon), national origin, and disability.

The following could be considered offensive, depending on the content and context:
• jokes
• slurs
• name calling
• insults, ridicule, mockery, or bullying
• intimidation, threats, or assaults
• pictures or objects

In general, the conduct also has to be at a level of severe and pervasive for the EEOC to then consider it illegal.

Usually, people are under the mistaken impression that it’s only considered harassment if the behavior comes from a boss or supervisor. However, harassment can come from other managers, employees, or non-employees (such as patients).

By law, all employers are liable for harassment by a supervisor that leads to you losing your job, a reduction in pay, or failure to hire or promote you. However, the exception to this is if you, as the employee, fail to take advantage of any preventive or corrective measures provided to you by your employer.

If you think you’re being harassed at work, and are not sure which step to take next, we can discuss your concerns during a free legal consultation. Please contact us at (503) 232-9280, or send an e-mail to .

Please note: Kevin Keaney, P.C provides legal services for EEOC issues, including: whistleblowing, hostile work environment, wrongful termination, pregnancy, and family medical leave. 

Kevin Keaney is licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington, as well as Texas, where he can also help nurses who need an attorney.