Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

hostile work environment

Federal and State employment laws protect employees from working in a hostile environment. If you believe you are or have been subject to a hostile work environment, you may be entitled to compensation including emotional distress damages, and punitive damages, under federal and state laws. Learn more about what constitutes a legally hostile work environment:

The Legal Definition of a Hostile Work Environment

There are many ways that a work environment could feel hostile. For example, if your boss is a bully who yells at their employees, you may feel that your workplace is hostile. Legally however, this workplace may not be considered hostile.

Under Federal and State hostile work environment laws, a hostile environment occurs when there is discrimination and or harassment on the basis of a protected class that is severe or pervasive.

Discrimination is the differential or unfavorable treatment of employees based on their membership in a protected class. Differential or unfavorable treatment in the workplace could impact hiring, pay, benefits, workplace opportunities, performance reviews, physical or verbal treatment, assignments, and firing.

Harassment is the use of slurs, jokes, or offensive comments regarding one’s membership in a protected class.

Protected classes in California include (but are not limited to): race, color, religion, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, medical condition, request for family care leave, request for leave for employee’s own serious health condition, request for pregnancy disability leave, and age (over 40)

Severe or Pervasive: Discrimination and harassment create a hostile environment when they are severe and or pervasive. Discrimination and harassment is considered severe if it is egregious to the point that one occurrence of the harassing behavior makes the environment hostile and unsafe. Discrimination and harassment is considered pervasive if it occurs repeatedly, so as to create an unsafe and hostile workplace environment.

If you work remotely, the legal standard for proving a hostile work environment remains the same. Although you have less face to face interaction with coworkers, you may experience a hostile work environment in a remote office space.

Employer Retaliation

The law protects employees who report unlawful hostile work environments. If you make a complaint of hostile work environment to your employer, resist a hostile work environment, or participate as a witness in a hostile work environment complaint made by a co-worker, your employer may not treat you unfavorable as a result. If your employer has treated you differently because you reported or resisting any form of hostile work environment, your employer has retaliated against you and broken the law.

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If you are Experiencing Discrimination or Retaliation at Work

If you have experienced discrimination and or retaliation at work, you may be entitled to compensation including emotional distress damages, and punitive damages, under federal and state laws. Take the following steps to support your case:

Save Evidence: Record all relevant events or interactions in writing. Save related emails, notes, and documents.

Report the Discrimination: Report the discrimination directly to your employer. If your employer does not correct their behavior, you may file a complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (if your employer has more than 15 employees) or with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) (if your employer has more than 5 employees). There is a 300-day deadline to file with the EEOC and a 3-year deadline to file with the DFEH.

Find an Attorney: Reach out to an employment attorney.

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Avloni Law is a law firm dedicated to fighting for your right to a workplace free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Navruz Avloni is an experienced hostile work environment attorney and has successfully represented numerous clients. Click here schedule a free consultation with Navruz Avloni.

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