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It does not require that the speech be profanity or pornography, which some have considered "low value." 17 Under the definition, it is eminently possible for political, religious, or social commentary, or "legitimate" art, to be punished. Chicago National League Ball Club, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, No. 4, 1993) (ticket scalper who was spoken to rudely because of his occupation stated a claim under Chicago antidiscrimination law, which bars discrimination and harassment based on, among other things, "source of income"); City of Boston Code §§ 12-9.2, 12-9.3 (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" -- a phrase that has been interpreted to include harassing speech -- based on "source of income").
It does not require that the speech consist of obscenity or fighting words or threats or other constitutionally unprotected statements.
The first place to look in determining the scope of harassment law, of course, is the legal definition of "harassment." Speech can be punished as workplace harassment if it's based on race, religion, sex, national origin, 1 age, disability (including obesity), 2 military membership or veteran status, 3 or, in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, marital status, 4 transsexualism or cross-dressing, 5 political affiliation, 6 criminal record, 7 prior psychiatric treatment, 8 occupation, 9 citizenship status, 10 personal appearance, 11 "matriculation," 12 tobacco use outside work, 13 Appalachian origin, 14 receipt of public assistance, 15 or dishonorable discharge from the military 16 Note what the definition does not require.
The Inevitable Need to Suppress Isolated Statements B. It goes far beyond slurs, hardcore pornography, repeated vulgar sexual propositions, and the like, and can suppress, among other things, I aim to prove this claim below. 775 § 5/2-102 (1997) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions or privileges of employment" -- a phrase that has been interpreted to include harassing speech -- based on "citizenship status"); N.
Only individuals with supervisory or managerial responsibility can commit this type of harassment.
Thus, federal law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not extremely serious.Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), sexual orientation, or retaliation (sometimes collectively referred to as "legally protected characteristics") constitutes harassment when: Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race or other legally protected characteristics unreasonably interferes with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.Anyone in the workplace might commit this type of harassment; a management official, co-worker, or non-employee, such as a contractor, vendor or guest. "It is Necessary to Prohibit the Individual Actions" Conclusion: The Speech that Harassment Law Restricts Workplace harassment law is a speech restriction of remarkable breadth. The Effect of Cases That Rely Even in Part on Speech F. 1996) (same as to "alienage or citizenship status"); New York City Comm'n on Human Rights document (asserting that New York City human rights law bars harassment based on, among other things, "alienage or citizenship status"); D.