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.
Consult with an experienced hostile work environment attorney 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 a Philadelphia hostile work environment attorney for a consultation.
Dealing with a hostile work environment on a daily basis can strain your professional and personal well-being. By definition, 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 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.
An experienced hostile work environment lawyer in Philadelphia or Mount Laurel can help your case
Hiring an experienced hostile work environment attorney in Philadelphia will put you in a better position to win your case. A Philadelphia hostile work environment attorney will guide you through the process of pursuing a claim, including reviewing the evidence and determining its strength. As your case proceeds, your hostile work environment lawyer will represent you in court and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If you can prove that you experienced 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 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.
Hostile Work Environment Attorneys
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.
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.
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 some hostility 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 attorney can help you determine your options for pursuing legal action.
What are the Legal Requirements 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 hostile work environment attorneys can help you identify whether you are able to sue for workplace hostility and identify the options you have to improve your workplace environment.
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. Get a free consultation today at 856-778-9700.