All employees have experienced a bad day at work. There are times during the workday when it seems like nothing is going right. However, there is a difference between having a bad day at work and working in a hostile working environment. Employers who actively create a hostile work environment are at risk of violating an employee’s legal rights. If you find yourself working in a hostile work environment, seek the help of an Oakland hostile work environment attorney to protect your rights.
What Does a Hostile Work Environment Look Like?
A hostile work environment is where unwelcome conduct causes employees to feel intimidated and uncomfortable. Unwelcomed conduct includes any behavior that causes an employee to experience harassment based on their race, gender, nationality, sex, age, or disability. Harassing an employee based on these criteria is a form of discrimination, which is a federal and state violation. Employers who engage in discrimination can be held liable under federal and state law.
Behaviors That Contribute to a Hostile Work Environment
A hostile work environment can be created when employers engage in the following behaviors:
- Discrimination: Examples of discrimination can be an employer who consistently refuses to hire applicants of a certain race or a particular age. In some situations, denying an applicant who is pregnant can be classified as discrimination. Employers who are discriminatory during the hiring process are also discriminatory with other groups of people already employed in the organization.
- Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual activity or remarks targeting a specific gender or sexual orientation. Some examples of sexual harassment can be engaging in derogatory sexual comments at the workplace, making inappropriate sexual gestures, or passing around sexually explicit material around the workplace. When a particular gender or sexual orientation does not feel comfortable due to sexual harassment, it can create a hostile work environment.
- Workplace aggression: Some examples of aggression in the workplace include yelling or threatening another employee, engaging in passive-aggressive behavior, and outright engaging in physical violence against another employee or employer. These aggressive behaviors can intimidate other employees into submission and stir uncomfortable feelings within the work environment.
- Threats of punishment: Employers who constantly threaten to discipline other employees or punish them can create a hostile work environment. Employers do not have a legal right to retaliate against employees who participate in whistleblower activities. Employees who speak out against unsafe workplace conditions have the right to do so without fear of punishment from employers. If employees feel that they have been punished in retaliation for speaking out against employers, employees should contact a hostile work environment attorney.
Contact an Oakland Hostile Work Environment Attorney Today
Unfriendly workplaces benefit no one. If pervasive acts of discrimination have forced workers into making hard choices, let JML Law’s skilled Oakland hostile work environment attorneys handle your claim. Every case is unique and needs to be evaluated by our experienced lawyers. Call our office at 818-610-8800 or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
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