California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

2523. "Harassing Conduct" Explained

Harassing conduct may include the following:

a. Verbal harassment, such as obscene language, demeaning comments, slurs, [or] threats [or] [describe other form of verbal harassment];

b. Physical harassment, such as unwanted touching, assault, or physical interference with normal work or movement; [or]

c. Visual harassment, such as offensive posters, objects, cartoons, or drawings; [or]

[d. Unwanted sexual advances.] [or]

[e. [Describe other form of harassment if appropriate].]

Sources and Authority

Government Code section 12940(j) provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for "an employer . . . or any other person, because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation, to harass an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract."

The Fair Employment and Housing Commission's regulations provide: "Harassment" includes but is not limited to:

(A) Verbal harassment, e.g., epithets, derogatory comments or slurs on a basis enumerated in the Act;

(B) Physical harassment, e.g., assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement, when directed at an individual on a basis enumerated in the Act;

(C) Visual forms of harassment, e.g., derogatory posters, cartoons, or drawings on a basis enumerated in the Act; or

(D) Sexual favors, e.g., unwanted sexual advances which condition an employment benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors." (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 7287.6(b)(1).)

Secondary Sources

1 Wrongful Employment Termination Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed. 2000) Sexual Harassment, § 3.13, p. 123

2 Wilcox, California Employment Law, Ch. 41, Substantive Requirements Under Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, § 41.80[1][a][i] (Matthew Bender)

11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 115, Civil Rights: Employment Discrimination, § 115.36 (Matthew Bender)

Bancroft-Whitney's California Civil Practice: Employment Litigation (2001 supp.) Discrimination in Employment, § 2.51, pp. 61-62

(New September 2003)