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Areas of Practice


Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C.

San Francisco Office
220 Montgomery Street
Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94104

Oakland Office
1901 Harrison Street
Suite 1590
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 415.835.6777
San Francisco Personal Injury


In today’s world, most of us spend a good portion of our time in the workplace. It is a place where we have the right to feel safe from issues like harassment, which has become an alarmingly frequent occurrence. Whether the perpetrator of the harassment is a boss or supervisor, a co-worker, or a third party, the employment law attorneys of Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., in Oakland, have experience protecting the rights of employees.

Keep in mind that not every form of unfair treatment or harassment is illegal. The harassment or unfair treatment must be related to qualities such as ethnicity, gender, religion, age (40 or over) or familial status.

Common Types Of Harassment

Harassment and discrimination on the job can take many forms, including:

We can help you determine if the treatment that is troubling you can be handled through legal action. Our attorneys are knowledgeable regarding the details of employment law in California.

Schedule a free consultation by calling 415.835.6777 today.

Harassment By A Supervisor Or Other Workplace Superior

Harassment by your boss or supervisor is often more difficult to deal with than harassment coming from a co-worker. The best way to handle this situation depends in part on whether you want to remain at the company or are looking to move on with your career.

Generally, if you’re looking for the harassment to stop and want to remain with the company, and if you know who your supervisor’s supervisor is, you should notify that person or your human resources (HR) department. It is always better to inform your employer in writing — email is fine — about the specifics of what is said, when and by whom. That way, the employer cannot later claim it did not know about the problem.

You should also begin keeping a detailed journal of the incidents that you feel constitute harassment. This is necessary to determine if your supervisor’s behavior legally qualifies as harassment. If, for example, you and your supervisor are constantly bickering with one another because the two of you simply don’t get along, or you have a disagreement about your performance at work, it is unlikely that the harassment is illegal. However, if your supervisor is making unwanted sexual comments toward you, or making racial slurs, that type of conduct is illegal. A detailed record of the incidents will help us evaluate your situation.

Unlike a situation where the harassment is coming from a co-worker, harassment from an employer gives rise to strict liability. In other words, an employee does not technically need to give an employer an opportunity to correct the conduct for the employer to be liable.

At BV Law, our employment law attorneys understand how sensitive and complex issues of supervisor harassment can be, especially when you are still employed at the company. Consult with one of our lawyers before you take any steps or decide how to proceed.

Harassment By A Co-Worker

If you believe you are being harassed by a co-worker, the first thing you should do is notify your supervisor. Like with harassment by a supervisor, we recommend keeping a journal recording the incidents in detail that you feel constitute harassment. This allows us to determine if the unfair treatment or harassment is illegal.

Unlike when a supervisor is perpetrating the harassment, an employer can only be held liable for the illegal conduct of its employees if it is given a chance to correct the situation and fails to act. Put differently, if your co-worker is making unwanted sexual comments toward you and you fail to inform the supervisor, it is unlikely you will have a case against your employer.

As such, it is important that you immediately inform your supervisor and your HR department as soon the unwanted conduct occurs. Inform your employer in writing about the specifics of your co-worker’s behavior. Make sure you include the name of the co-worker, details of what he or she did or said and when it occurred. Notifying your employer in writing will prevent him or her from subsequently denying you provided a chance to correct the behavior.

Contact an employment law attorney at BV Law today for a free consultation.

Workplace Harassment By A Third Party

Typically, employment law harassment and discrimination lawsuits are against an employee’s co-workers or supervisors. However, sometimes an employee is harassed at the workplace by someone who is neither a co-worker nor supervisor. You may be enduring regular harassment by a client, employee of another company or patron. If your employer is aware of and fails to take steps to stop the harassment, your employer may be liable for damages.

In a recent case, a California court of appeals held that a woman working at a halfway house for persons on parole could sue her employer for the harassment she endured from the parolees. If nonemployees sexually harass an employee, and the employer does not take immediate and appropriate action to alleviate the harassment, then the employer may be held liable under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). It does not matter if such harassment is allegedly “part of the job.”

If you feel you are being harassed by a third party you work with on a regular basis as part of your job, you must give your employer an opportunity to take corrective action. You should notify your employer in writing about every incident of harassment and specifically request that corrective action be taken. Documenting and reporting the harassment is essential in these cases.

Don’t Wait To Let A Legal Professional Evaluate Your Situation

The lawyers of Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., are available for free consultations to discuss the treatment you are enduring in your workplace. It is best to speak with an attorney before deciding how to proceed or taking any steps in an attempt to resolve it on your own. Call us at 415.835.6777. You can also reach us by completing our online contact form.

For examples of the outstanding results we have achieved in employer harassment and discrimination cases, see our employment law Client Testimonials.

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