Hostile Work Environment

Hostile Work Environment Attorneys in Irvine

Helping Our Clients Protect Their Rights & Interests in the Workplace

If you have been mistreated in the workplace, harassed, or feel unsafe when you go to work, Badame Law Group can help. We work to hold employers responsible for allowing the hostile work environment to continue, especially after incidents have been reported.

Reach out to our Irvine hostile work environment lawyers today at (949) 393-4249 to discuss your situation and learn how we can help.

What is a Hostile Work Environment?

In employment law, there are many situations that fall under the category of a hostile work environment. Simply put, a hostile work environment is one in which an employee is being harassed or feels intimidated or threatened. This can be because of a supervisor, employer, or co-worker.

There are three main types of behavior which a hostile work environment can fall into which are:

  • Discrimination based on a protected class (such as race or gender)
  • Offensive conduct, such as causing offense to a reasonable person
  • Sexual harassment, including behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks.

Examples of behavior in a hostile work environment, include:

  • Ethnic or racial slurs
  • Unwanted touching
  • Rude jokes or gestures
  • Leering and unwanted advances
  • Putting offensive content on display
  • Vulgar statements or jokes
  • Requesting sexual favors
  • Demanding sexual quid pro quos
  • Jokes about someone's religion/age
  • Mocking someone's disability
  • Catcalling

How to Prove a Hostile Work Environment

An offhand remark or annoying behavior from coworkers does not necessarily rise to the legal definition of a hostile work environment.

To qualify as a hostile work environment under the law, the harassing behavior must:

  • Be discriminatory in nature, against a federal protected classification
  • Be pervasive, or lasting over a period of time
  • Be severe, to the point of disrupting the employee's ability to work
  • Be reasonably known by the employer, and the employer does not sufficiently intervene

To prove you are working in a hostile work environment, make sure to keep all communications regarding your situation. This means any emails, voicemails, memos, letters, etc. that contain harassing language. This also includes any communication between you and your supervisor or Human Resources (HR) informing them of the incident(s).

Keep in mind that communication is not limited to the workplace or work hours. Any unwelcome communication you receive at home or outside work hours is still relevant. Such communication can also show how extensive the harassment may be.

Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Be aware that if your hostile work environment is tied to discrimination, federal anti-discrimination laws do not apply to all employers. An employer must have at least 15 or more employees, or 20 employees if age discrimination is part of the allegation. If your employer is not covered by federal law, they may be covered by state law instead.

Holding Employers Responsible for a Hostile Work Environment

If you are a victim of a hostile work environment, the first thing you should do is report it (in writing) to your employer. This is especially important if you are reporting a co-worker or supervisor and want to later illustrate that the employer was aware of it. Your employer is responsible for taking action as soon as possible and if they fail to do so, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

It is important that you do not quit your job unless it becomes totally necessary so that we can effectively pursue your case. If you are terminated due to reporting a hostile work environment, you may be able to pursue a wrongful termination case.

At Badame Law Group, our Irvine hostile work environment attorneys can help you pursue damages for the harassment you have experienced.

You don't have to endure a hostile work environment any longer. Call us at (949) 393-4249 or fill out our online contact form for strong legal representation.

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