I am sorry to hear about your situation at work. I can imagine how difficult it is to work under those circumstances.
Generally, the law protects employees from workplace harassment under situations where the harassment is based on a protected category such as race, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability. In this situation, you would have to prove that they were actively (not passively) discriminating against you because of your race.
Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (a federal law), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act as well as the federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 all have language that states that discrimination based on language constitutes racial discrimination. However, the case to date specifically states that it must be employer that is the one doing the discriminating, and not fellow employees.
Unfortunately, the laws do not protect employees form other employees who engage in conduct such as your fellow employees. While their conduct is without question inappropriate, it does not appear unlawful as there is no adverse employment action taken against you to date.
I wish I could tell you that you have legal recourse against them for speaking in Spanish, however, until there is an actual adverse employment action taken against you, this does not constitute harassment in this situation.
That being said, if you are terminated or written up as a result of your complaint, then you absolutely have grounds to file a claim against them for retaliation. Further if you can point to an adverse employment action taken against you, then you may have grounds. Under these situations, you should file a claim with the EEOC and California Labor Board or contact an employment attorney in your area.
If you decide to hire an attorney, a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.
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