Sexual Orientation Harassment
Just as with any type of workplace harassment in California, harassment based on a person' s sexual orientation is unlawful under the FEHA. Heterosexual, homosexual and/or bisexual employees may be the victim of sexual orientation discrimination.
Sexual orientation harassment often includes targeting a person for offensive or hostile treatment because of sexual preference, including physical conduct, such as touching, assault, and/or impeding or blocking movements and verbal conduct such as making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs and jokes, verbal sexual advances or propositions, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual's body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations. However, it may also include much of the garden-variety type harassment such as unwanted sexual advances (based on the person's orientation), offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors, making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances, and/or displaying of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons or posters, staring/leering, or making sexual gestures.