Los Angeles Hostile Work Environment Lawyers
All employers are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. Some workplaces, however, are not only hostile but also discriminatory. Employees who are subjected to harassment and mistreatment have the right to file a complaint against their employers. If the employer fails to react to the complaint, employees may then file a hostile work environment claim to improve their work conditions and seek fair compensation for their losses.
If you are being harassed at work or feel that no action is being taken about it, Strong Advocates can help explain the law and help assemble a legal team to assert your rights in court if necessary. Call (800) 870-9886 today.
What Makes a Workplace Hostile?
A number of us have dealt with rude or obnoxious co-workers at some point in our careers. However, not all rude or inappropriate behaviors are considered “hostile” under the law. According to the law, a workplace is only considered hostile if the behaviors, actions or communication of employees makes it impossible to work and is discriminatory in nature. It may be challenging to work at a place where the boss is rude or quick to complain about your quality of work, but that is not necessarily a hostile workplace under the law. However, if your boss verbally berates you about your religion, gender, race or age, then, you may have a case because you are the victim of discrimination.
The legal requirements for a hostile work environment include:
- The actions or behavior by your coworkers or employer must discriminate against protected classifications such as religion, disability, race or age.
- The behavior must last over time. An inappropriate remark does not make a workplace hostile under the law until the problem is significant, pervasive and long-lasting.
- The hostile behavior is severe. The discriminatory acts must be severe enough to disrupt the employee’s ability to work.
Sexual harassment consists of unwanted sexual contact by a supervisor or coworker. Both male and female employees can be victims of sexual harassment, and a victim could be harassed by a member of the same sex. Sexual harassment could be a “quid pro quo” type of harassment when employment or certain working conditions are conditioned on the employee’s submission to the unwelcome sexual advances. For example, an employee may not receive a promotion or be threatened with termination if he or she refuses the sexual advances. The other type of sexual harassment is when an employee has to deal with unwelcome sexual conduct such as displaying sexual pictures, making sexual comments and inappropriate touching. Sexual harassment certainly creates a hostile work environment for employees who are subjected to such harassment.
Coping with a Hostile Work Environment
What steps should employees take if their work environment is hostile? The first step is to ask the offending employee to stop their inappropriate behavior or communication. If the employee is not comfortable confronting the employee on his or her own, they should get help from a manager or Human Resources. It is important to clearly communicate to the individual that his or her behavior is offensive, discriminatory and inappropriate and that you will not tolerate the behavior. You may consider making notes about what was said during this conversation and the date on which it took place.
However, if the offensive behavior continues despite your complaint and confrontation, then you should go to your coworker’s supervisor. Your employer must have the opportunity to investigate, intervene and put an end to the behavior. Give your employer a chance to correct the behavior. If that does not work and your employer turns a deaf ear to the complaint thereby allowing the offensive behavior to continue, then filing a lawsuit may be your best option.
If you are being harassed at work and have questions about your rights, please contact Strong Advocates and their accomplished legal team. We will review the facts of your case, explain the laws that apply to your claim and clearly outline your legal rights and options. You do not have to tolerate inappropriate behavior or harassment in the workplace just because you fear losing your job. We will help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Please contact us at (800) 870-9886 for a comprehensive and confidential consultation.