Hostile Work Environment Lawsuits
By Mary Ann Pekara
The workplace can be a breeding ground for offensive or intimidating behavior. Often, a supervisor’s behavior is so outrageous that employees targeted by the harassment fear going to work.
Fortunately, there are several anti-discrimination laws that protect employees from hostile work environments. If you have been the victim of severe harassment of any type at work you may be able to pursue a hostile work environment settlement.
To learn more about seeking a settlement for your hostile work experience, fill out the form below to consult with a local personal injury attorney.
Causes of a Hostile Work Environment
There are several different types of harassment or intimidation that may warrant a hostile work environment lawsuit or worker’s compensation claim.
A hostile work environment may be caused by discrimination based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity. Moreover, it may be created by an employer’s retaliation to an employee’s whistle blowing efforts.
Other examples of potentially unlawful conduct include:
- Physically threatening language or conduct
- Sexual harassment
- Racial discrimination
Typically, the discriminatory or intimating behavior must be severe, intentional, and recurring. Moreover, another common element of hostile work environment settlements is that the employees reasonably believed they had no choice but to endure the harassment in order to maintain their jobs.
Seeking Justice for a Hostile Work Environment
Several different federal statutes, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, offer employees protection from hostile work environments.
In addition, a local attorney may help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the offending employer. This, however, is often one of the final steps in a hostile work environment complaint.
If you feel you are a victim of harassment or intimidation at work, you may want to consider following these steps or discussing them with an attorney:
- First, file a complaint with your employer. If your company has standard procedures for this, follow them. If not, take your complaint to the highest ranking human resources official.
- In the complaint, explain what’s happening, and why it’s creating a hostile work situation.
- Make sure to keep documentation of your official complaints.
If the company behaves reasonably and investigates your claim, cooperate with the investigating officials. If, however, the company fails to adequately address your concerns, you may want to contact a local state agency that deals with employment practices.
In addition to the state agency, another helpful resource may be a local injury attorney. Both state and federal laws provide employees protection from discrimination in the workplace, but it can be difficult to sift through these complex bodies of regulations.
In a nutshell, if you have suffered discrimination or intimidation at work, and feel you must endure these painful actions in order to keep your job, you may have a successful hostile work environment claim.
To learn more about pursuing a hostile work environment claim, contact a local personal injury attorney today.