Hostile Work Environment Lawyer In Philadelphia And Mount Laurel

Standing Up for Victims of Harassment or Hostility in New Jersey & Pennsylvania

Zeff Law Firm’s Hostile Work Environment Lawyers Attorney

Unfortunately, not every employee feels safe and comfortable at their place of work. In fact, studies predict that roughly 20% of workers have been exposed to hostility in the workplace. What many workers do not know is that they have the right to work in a professional, harassment-free space, and you have options for recourse when that is not the case. The hostile work environment attorneys at Zeff Law Firm, LLC in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and Philadelphia will represent you if you are the victim of a hostile work environment.

Call 856-778-9700 to speak with a hostile work environment lawyer in Mt Laurel and Philadelphia. You can also simply fill out our contact form and submit an inquiry for the lawyers at our offices to review.

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Understanding and Addressing a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment exists when an employer creates intolerable working conditions because of the employee’s sex, race, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, age, or in retaliation for protected activity. Every situation is different and you should consult a hostile work environment lawyer about yours. If you feel you have been the victim of harassment or a hostile work environment anywhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or if you would like to ask about your rights regarding harassment and hostile work environment, please contact our offices immediately to discuss with an experienced lawyer.

Types of Unlawful Harassment:

It is unlawful for an employer to allow one of its employees to be harassed or subjected to a hostile work environment. However, all harassment is not unlawful. Harassment is only against the law when a person is being harassed because of their sex, race, religion, national origin, age, or disability.

Identifying the signs of a hostile work environment is essential for employees to safeguard their rights in the workplace. Some common indicators include:

  • Persistent harassment
  • Discrimination or intimidation based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, religion, or disability
  • Unfair treatment
  • Verbal abuse
  • Social isolation
  • A climate of fear and hostility created by management or coworkers
  • Unequal opportunities for advancement, or unfair policies & practices
  • Retaliation against those who report misconduct, or a lack of appropriate response from management to address complaints

Recognizing these signs can empower individuals to take action and seek legal recourse. Contact a hostile work environment lawyer for a free consultation.

Steps to Address a Hostile Work Environment:

  1. Document Incidents: Keep a detailed record of all incidents, including dates, times, locations, witnesses, and descriptions of the behavior.
  2. Report Internally: Follow your company’s procedures for reporting harassment. This often involves notifying your supervisor, HR department, or another designated official.
  3. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with an experienced hostile work environment attorney to discuss your rights and options. They can provide guidance on how to proceed and whether to file a formal complaint with government agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  4. File a Complaint: If internal reporting does not resolve the issue, your lawyer can assist you in filing a formal complaint with the appropriate agency or in taking legal action against the employer.

Legal Criteria for a Hostile Work Environment?

In order to have a successful claim against an employer for a hostile work environment, you must typically be able to demonstrate two key elements.

  • First, you need to be able to demonstrate that the behavior was so severe and pervasive that it impacted the nature of your employment with the company. Employees are usually able to prove this element by providing evidence of a consistent pattern of abuse towards employees in the workplace.
  • The second element you have to prove to have a successful hostile workplace claim is that the behavior was specifically targeting you from a protected group, such as race, sexual orientation, disability or religion.

For example, if an employer utilizes behavior that only affects women, this would meet the standard, whereas behavior targeting all employees ‘equally’ would not. It’s important to remember that it is not against the law for your employer to be rude, discourteous, disagreeable, or unpleasant.

Zeff Law Firm’s lawyer for hostile work environment can help you identify whether you are able to sue for workplace hostility and identify the options you have to improve your workplace environment.

How Our Hostile Work Environment Lawyers Can Help

Harassment based on a protected class such as sex, race, religion, and even complaints about a protected class still remains one of the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace today. It can come in many forms, such as sexually inappropriate language, unwanted touching, misogynistic treatment, comments, lack of participation, poor evaluations, and unequal treatment of an employee. Sexual harassment also exists where a man or woman is treated worse because that employee does not engage in sex or even sexually flirting with his or her supervisors or superiors.

Hiring an experienced hostile work environment lawyer in Philadelphia & Mt Laurel, New Jersey will put you in a better position to win your case. Our experienced hostile work environment attorneys are dedicated to providing comprehensive support and expert legal representation for individuals facing abusive and discriminatory workplace conditions. Here’s how we can assist you:

Expert Legal Consultation

  • Case Evaluation: We start with a thorough evaluation of your situation to determine if it meets the legal criteria for a hostile work environment. This includes assessing the severity, frequency, and impact of the conduct you’ve experienced.
  • Personalized Guidance: Based on our assessment, we offer personalized legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We will guide you through the process of pursuing a hostile work environment claim, including reviewing the evidence and determining its strength.

Evidence Collection and Documentation

  • Guidance on Documentation: We provide clear instructions on how to document incidents of harassment and discrimination effectively. This includes maintaining detailed records of incidents, communications, and any actions taken by the employer.
  • Gathering Evidence: Our team assists in gathering and preserving evidence, such as emails, witness statements, and other relevant documentation, to build a strong case.

Filing Complaints and Legal Actions:

  • Internal Reporting: We guide you through the process of reporting the hostile work environment to your employer, ensuring you follow the correct procedures and protocols.
  • EEOC and State Complaints: If internal reporting does not resolve the issue, we help you file formal complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or relevant state agencies. We handle all the paperwork and procedural requirements on your behalf.
  • Legal Representation: As your case proceeds, your hostile work environment attorney will represent you in court and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Negotiation and Settlement

  • Employer Negotiations: Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who can engage with your employer to seek a resolution without the need for a lengthy court battle. This can include negotiating settlements or other remedies that address your grievances.
  • Settlement Agreements: If a settlement is reached, we ensure that the terms are fair and protect your interests. We also review and explain any agreements before you sign.

Ongoing Support and Advocacy

  • Continuous Support: Throughout the legal process, we provide continuous support and keep you informed of any developments in your case.
  • Advocacy: We advocate vigorously on your behalf, whether in negotiations, administrative hearings, or court proceedings, to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld.

If you can prove a hostile work environment, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. These damages typically include claims for lost wages, including back pay and benefits.
Most courts prefer the reinstatement of the employee and the termination of the offending employee as a resolution to the claim. State employment laws may offer more protection than federal law. Contact our hostile work environment lawyers in Philadelphia and Mount Laurel at 215-694-8885 to learn more.

FAQs About Hostile Work Environments

When  to Consult with an experienced hostile work environment lawyer after consulting HR?

The first step you should take if you are experiencing a hostile work environment is to ask the offending employee to stop immediately. In addition, you should contact management or the human resources department to report the problem. To succeed in court, you must prove that your employer knew about the hostile work environment and failed to correct the problem. If you believe you’ve been working in a hostile workplace anywhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, contact an employment lawyer for a consultation.

Dealing with a hostile work environment on a daily basis can strain your professional and personal well-being. The legal definition of a hostile work environment includes treatment that happens often and goes beyond the demands of an annoying boss to the extremes. Some examples of hostile behaviors toward an employee include workplace discrimination, intimidation, offensive behavior, sexual harassment, physical abuse, and mental abuse. Additionally, this treatment must interfere with your ability to get your job done. Consult with an experienced hostile work environment attorney in Mount Laurel and Philadelphia to evaluate the merits of your case.

What are the Signs of a Hostile Work Environment?

The main characteristic of a hostile work environment is that the behavior causes the employee to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. This can include behavior that intimidates the worker, or any behavior that is directed towards another person’s religion, education level, race, sexual orientation, or disability. Threats of punishment, ridicule, and unwanted jokes can also be indicative of hostile behavior in the workplace. If you consistently witness behavior that falls within this scope, you should consider discussing your experiences with a hostile work environment attorney.

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What is an example of a Hostile Work Environment?

There are several clear-cut examples of a hostile work environment that can be easy for most workers to identify. However, some are not as easy to spot. Here are some behaviors to watch for:

  • Overly Aggressive Behavior: Examples include consistent yelling and belittling certain workers during a shift. Unwarranted aggression on the part of a boss or a supervisor creates hostile work environments.
  • Threats and Complaints: Threats against a worker’s safety are clearly wrong, but excessive complaints (formal and informal) can also create a hostile work environment. If you notice large numbers of complaints filed between coworkers, that is usually a good sign of harassment  in the workplace.
  • Harassment and Ridicule: This encompasses any behavior that makes the worker feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. It also includes repeated, yet unwanted behavior towards or around another worker such as making the same unflattering joke or persistent bullying.
  • Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment includes any unwarranted comments that are sexually explicit, unwanted physical contact, or comments about the person’s sexual orientation. 

Can I Sue My Employer for Creating a Hostile Work Environment?

In most situations, you have a right to relief if you are in a hostile work environment. Depending on the scope of the harassment and the steps your employer took (or failed to take) to remedy your situation may dictate how successful your hostile workplace lawsuit will be. However, as a general principle, you are certainly able to sue an employer for creating a hostile work environment. Additionally, you may also be able to file a lawsuit where a co-worker (rather than a boss or supervisor) has created a hostile work environment. A skilled hostile work environment lawyer can help you determine your options for pursuing legal action.

What do you do When Your Boss is Making Your Life Miserable?

Although you may feel helpless if your boss is making your life miserable, you are not completely powerless. Sometimes, bosses, managers, and coworkers behave in a way that we do not agree with or the culture of a company is difficult to comprehend. In these situations, you always have the option of leaving your job and finding other opportunities outside of that environment. However, if your boss is subjecting you to inappropriate behavior that violates your protected rights as an employee, then you should contact the attorneys at Zeff Law Firm, LLC to plan the best approach to pursuing legal action against your employer. Our attorneys can help you determine what options are best for your case. Call for a free consultation with a hostile work environment lawyer today at 856-778-9700.

Learn How the Law Applies to Your Work Situation

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