A hostile work environment is created when an employee is constantly harassed by their employer in such a way that their work is affected by it or they fear going into work at all. This kind of treatment by an employer is highly unacceptable and unlawful behavior. If this has happened to you, seek the legal counsel of an experienced Hostile Work Environment Attorney at JML Law in San Francisco today. Our attorneys have decades of experience and a vast knowledge of the law. Call our offices at 818-610-8800 for a free consultation.
What Is Considered A Hostile Work Environment
According to the United States Department of Labor “A hostile environment can result from the unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors, or anyone else with whom the victim interacts on the job, and the unwelcome conduct renders the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile, or offensive.” Some examples given of behaviors that might lead to creating an unlawful hostile environment could include:
- Discussing sexual activities;
- Telling off-color jokes concerning race, sex, disability, or other protected bases;
- Unnecessary touching;
- Commenting on physical attributes;
- Displaying sexually suggestive or racially insensitive pictures;
- Using demeaning or inappropriate terms or epithets;
- Using indecent gestures;
- Using crude language;
- Sabotaging the victim’s work;
- Engaging in hostile physical conduct.
California’s Labor and Employment Law states that a hostile work environment is created when the “harassing conduct is so severe or pervasive it creates a work environment that is hostile or abusive.”
Retaliation And Damages
There are federal and state laws that prohibit harassment in the workplace and protect employees from retaliation for reporting unlawful behaviors conducted by their employers. Your employer is not legally not allowed to retaliate against you for reporting unlawful acts or violations of your rights. Employers who are found guilty of creating a hostile work environment could face compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are 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 emotional distress. Punitive damages are fines the employer must pay as punishment.
Filing A Claim
Report all legal violations to the appropriate parties and consult with an attorney. Proving and pursuing a hostile work environment claim can be difficult. The history must show a consistent pattern of harassing behavior over time. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) states that “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.” If you believe your employer has created a hostile work environment, contact JML Law in San Francisco to speak with a Hostile Work Environment Attorney who can hear your claim and advise you have what legal actions that can be taken to protect your rights and stop continued harassment. Call JML Law offices today in San Francisco at 818-610-8800 or click here for a free consultation. We are only compensated if we prove your claim. There is no risk to you.
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