When applying for any position, you are given the rules, procedures, requirements, and expectations by your potential employer. As an employee, you should feel safe and able to properly do your job without fear of harassment. If your employer creates such a severely offensive environment at work that you fear going to work and/or your work is affected because of continued harassment, then your employer has created a hostile work environment. This harassment is both illegal and unacceptable behavior from an employer and should never be tolerated. Report all violations to the correct parties designated by your company’s policy (usually human resources) and seek legal counsel. Contact JML Law in Long Beach at 818-610-8800 to speak with one of our Hostile Work Environment Attorneys who can review your claim and let you know what legal actions you have available to take.
What Is Considered A Hostile Work Environment
A hostile workplace is created when an employee faces harassment from his or her employers. This harassment could be highly offensive, sexually harassing, or intimidating. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) states that “offensive conduct may include offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.” The E.E.O.C. also outlines certain facts about harassment in the workplace you should know.
- The guilty party could be the supervisor, or a supervisor of another department, a co-worker, an agent of the employer, or even a non-employee.
- Anyone affected by the harassment and offensive behavior is also a victim, the offended parties are not limited to the employee the harassment is focused on.
- Unlawful harassment does not necessarily have to include the firing of the victimized employee.
As with many other workplace discrimination or harassment claims, employers who have violated the law and are found guilty of creating a hostile work environment could face compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages would include the amount of money or out-of-pocket costs the victimized employee has had to pay to file a claim (court costs, attorney fees, back-pay, etc.) and possible compensation for any emotional distress or suffering. Punitive damages are fines the employer must pay as punishment for each violation.
What To Do
All instances of harassment should be reported and handled with professionalism and discretion. Contact JML Law in Long Beach to speak with a Hostile Work Environment Attorney about your claim. No employee should have to face working in a hostile work environment. Our clients are not responsible for our fees unless we win the case. There is no risk to you. Here at JML Law, our attorneys have decades of experience and knowledge of employment and harassment laws. Let us ensure your rights are being honored and hold your employer accountable for any violations of your rights.
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