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Impact of Social Media on Workplace Harassment in California (2024)

Diefer Law Group
The Impact of Social Media on Workplace Harassment in California

While social media can enhance connection and communication between employees in the workplace, it can also provide an additional avenue for workplace harassment. If you have experienced workplace harassment, such as sexual harassment, through social media or other digital platforms, a California workplace harassment attorney can help protect your rights and hold the right people accountable.

From changing the means through which businesses conduct their marketing and branding to shifting how employees communicate with each other at work, social media has transformed the California workplace.

How Social Media Has Affected the Workplace in California

Workplace harassment is defined by the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) as any unwelcome conduct that is directed at a worker due to their protected characteristics, like religion, disability, or national origin. Social media can be used to perpetrate, monitor, and fight harassment in the workplace, with the following implications being the greatest:

  • More Intensive Harassment. While before, employees could face harassment online by receiving a message, now, an instance of harassment can exponentially expand due to the ability to like and share. This can result in instances of harassment that are more publicly visible and, therefore, more detrimental and devastating to the victim.
  • Less Clear Work Boundaries. Even though it is helpful for camaraderie to have employees connected online, having workplace connections over social media can make it unclear whether a harassment incident is specifically related to the workplace or not.
  • Harassment Not Tied to Location. With the ubiquity of social media, it is possible to reach a person through multiple channels, even if the perpetrator and victim are not in the same building, state, or even country.
  • Harassment Monitoring Challenges. Social media can make it more difficult for employees to track what is happening online between employees, as they do not have authority over their employees’ personal accounts. This can make it more challenging to monitor and address cases of harassment.
  • Better Documentation. The digitization of harassment through social media makes it easier to document what is happening and use it as evidence for formal and informal workplace harassment claims.
  • Connection and Advocacy. Social media platforms can provide employees with a space to voice their frustrations about workplace harassment and receive support and understanding from concerned individuals who may have had similar experiences. Such online movements can put pressure on organizations to do more to work toward an inclusive and safe workplace environment.

How Can Harassment Be Addressed and Prevented?

Overall, the introduction of social media has both positive and negative workplace implications in the state of California when it comes to harassment. Employers can work toward mitigating harassment through social media by providing clear guidelines about how social media can be used during work hours and what specifically constitutes harassment.

Furthermore, organizations can address workplace harassment through social media by conducting training about how to use social media responsibly and by taking all allegations of digital workplace harassment seriously. They should also be sure to keep up with local, state, and federal regulations and laws regarding harassment in order to stay within guidelines.

Those who have been victims of workplace harassment have the right to file a claim against their employer. They can seek compensation for the damages they’ve suffered and attempt to hold the employer responsible for their oversight, negligence, or wrongful actions.

FAQs

Q: What Is Considered to Be a California Hostile Workplace Environment?

A: In California, a workplace environment that is considered to be hostile or abusive is one that has the presence of some kind of harassment activity or activities that are pervasive enough to keep the victim from being able to do their job and can be emotionally or physically threatening. Harassment incidents that can make a workplace environment hostile include unnecessary touching, inappropriate comments, and requests for strange or sexual favors.

Q: What Are the Three Main Types of Harassment?

A: Harassment has three major forms, which can take place in many different settings, ranging from the home to public spaces or the workplace. These three forms are verbal, physical, or written harassment. Physical harassment can be of a sexual or aggressive nature, or it can be carried out by looking or gesturing at a person in a certain way.

Because written forms of harassment, such as the sending of inappropriate messages through social media, are common, this means people can face harassment without ever meeting the perpetrator in person.

Q: What Are the Four Key Causes of Sexual Harassment?

A: Behaviors of sexual harassment cannot be justified, and perpetrators must always be held accountable for their actions.

However, in order to prevent such instances, it can be helpful to understand the four main categories that sexual harassment causes usually fall under, which are power relations, supportive environments, mental health disorders or challenges, and socialization. The environment in which a perpetrator was raised and primarily exposed to, as well as the environment in which they carry out the harassment, has a profound impact.

Q: Can a California Employee Sue Their Employer for a Hostile Work Environment?

A: In the state of California, if you are facing a hostile work environment due to harassment or abuse, you have a right under the law to sue for emotional distress or anxiety that is caused as a result of such an environment.

This is because your employer has a responsibility under the law to provide a secure work environment for their employees that is free of abuse or harassment. An employer can be sued by their employee even if they were unaware of the incidences of harassment or abuse occurring.

Protect Yourself From Online Harassment: Contact a CA Workplace Harassment Attorney

Workplace harassment that occurs online or through digital platforms such as social media is unacceptable. Therefore, if you have been subjected to such forms of workplace harassment or other kinds of harassment, a California workplace harassment attorney from Diefer Law Group, P.C., can help you gather the evidence you need to move forward by holding the perpetrator accountable.

Our team can inform you of your rights and help you on an optimal path forward to justice. Contact one of our workplace harassment attorneys today to get started.

Abel Fernandez

Abel Fernandez

Attorney Abel Fernandez believes in the aggressive representation of injured workers. Workers’ compensation law is a very difficult and frustrating area of the law. Employees routinely have medical treatment and benefits delayed or denied by insurance companies. Mr. Fernandez fights for the rights of the injured worker to get medical treatment and the maximum amount of benefits possible. We have experience fighting the insurance company and adjusters, and we are committed to obtaining the best outcome possible for our clients.


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By contacting Diefer Law Group, you agree to receive emails, text messages, and phone calls regarding your legal inquiry, which may be considered advertising material. Emails, text messages, and phone calls may be automatically generated using the information from this contact form to better coordinate communication. You understand that your consent to this is not necessary to obtain legal services from Diefer Law Group. Messaging and data rates may apply.