Threats or Violence Interfering with Your Right to Work

Individuals have a right to be free from discrimination, from wrongful termination, and from retaliation. However, people also have a right to be free from being interfered with by threats, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion, in their exercise or enjoyment by any individual of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States. If someone interferes with another’s Constitutional rights, then this will constitute a violation of Civil Code § 52.1.

Civil Code § 52.1, or otherwise known as the Bane Act, protects the ability of individuals to continue exercising their Constitutional rights without fear of physical threat. This is an important statute because it protects individuals not only from violence but also protects their Constitutional rights. A common example of a Constitutional right is the right to work. Individuals have a fundamental right to seek gainful employment, and thus another person who interferes with their ability to do so by physical violence or intimidation violate Civil Code § 52.1 and face liability.

An example: An employer dislikes workers who were born in or whose heritage is from a foreign country. Specifically, let’s say the employer dislikes Mexican American workers. After hiring an employee and learning he is Mexican American, the employer begins to make verbal threats against the employee on the basis of that national origin or ethnicity. Further, let’s say these threats could rise to the level of constructively forcing the employee to quit. These threats would be interfering with the employee’s ability to seek gainful employment, as the employee reasonably believed his ability to continue working was endangered by threats of violence based on his Mexican heritage. Therefore, the employer would likely be liable under Civil Code § 52.1, or the Bane Act, for having interfered violently with the employee’s enjoyment of his Constitutional right.

Another Example: A female applies to a firm and quickly becomes sexually harassed by one of her coworkers. The female tells him that she will complain about the sexual harassment if it does not stop. In response, the male coworker threatens to severely hurt her if she reveals the truth to anyone. Because the female is in a hostile working environment, and because she cannot go to her supervisors without risking the threat from the male coworker, the female employee will not only have a cause of action for sexual harassment but also one for a Civil Code § 52.1 violation due to the threatened violence preventing her from seeking gainful employment.

Contact Us

If you’re right to pursue a Constitutional right, such as seeking employment, has been interfered with through acts of violence or threats of violence by another, contact the experienced lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900, who work with Civil Code § 52.1 violations. Ask about our free initial consultation.