California Governor Gavin Newson recently signed the Crown Act into law, making California the first state in the United States to specifically prohibit employers and school officials from discriminating against people based on their natural hair.
Employers have long been aware of laws prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, national origin, and other protected characteristics. But what about uncivil or intimidating behavior unrelated to protected class status? Many employees complain to employers about coworkers creating “toxic” work environments, but the offending behavior falls outside of the umbrella of state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. How should employers handle these situations?