Workplace Harassment & Hostile Work Environment Lawyer in Long Beach, CA
When an employee is subjected to unwanted verbal or physical behavior because of his or her gender identity, race, class, disability, or other protected status, an abusive or hostile work environment is constituted. Offensive, degrading, abusive, or threatening statements, as well as improper physical contact, are all examples of such unlawful behavior.
To determine if the activity is illegal, numerous elements are taken into consideration. Among these are the frequency and intensity of the behavior, the impact on an employee’s ability to fulfill their job duties, and how the conduct affects their mental health.
Federal and State Laws
It doesn’t matter how big or small your firm is; all employers are subject to state law. Protecting employees against harassment by coworkers, customers, and suppliers is the responsibility of employers. Employees who harass independent contractors, suppliers, consultants, or anybody else who provides services to the company may be held accountable by the employer. Employers who harass their employees and/or fail to look into hostility claims in the workplace may be held accountable by the law.
Our Long Beach employment law attorneys provide legal representation in the following practice areas:
- Class Actions
- Rest & Meal Breaks
- Sexual Harassment
- Wage & Hour
- Wrongful Termination
How Can I Tell if There’s a Hostile Atmosphere at Work?
An employee may feel harassed or perceive a hostile work environment from a wide range of actions. Even a non-employee can be the harasser. Here are some things that qualify as harassment at work:
- When your co-workers email each other sexually explicit photographs or jokes, your employer is aware of it and does nothing to stop it.
- When a coworker touches your body without your permission.
- When your boss tells you that it’s just the price you pay for working with an important customer who laughs about your ethnic group.
- When negative or disparaging statements are made regarding the competence or looks of elderly employees by a boss and/or other staff.
- Pictures and posters with sexual overtones hung in a coworker’s office.
- In plain sight of you and your coworkers, your boss is having an inappropriate sexual relationship with another employee.
- One or more of your coworkers often utilizes racial slurs and stereotypes in his or her speech.
What Should Employees Do if They Find Their Work Environment To Be Hostile?
Employees should document all instances of hostility, including dates, times, persons involved, witnesses, and specifics of what happened. They also need to preserve any tangible evidence (emails, images, etc.). Employees should also file a written report with their company and keep a copy for themselves. Complaints should be made according to any policies or processes laid out at the workplace. A copy of the employer’s answer, if any, should be kept on file.
Notes should be taken of what was said by the employer and kept as proof if they responded verbally. The employee’s health and job performance should also be documented to show that the hostility had a negative impact on the employee’s physical or emotional well-being.
What Action Should You Take if You Are in a Hostile Work Environment?
Employees may consult a lawyer who may then submit a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on their behalf. The EEOC is often be contacted before a victim’s discrimination claim is made in court. Within 90 days following receipt of the EEOC’s “Notice of Right to Sue,” employees who have not had their complaint resolved by the agency can file suit in federal or state court for unresolved discrimination claims.
In the Event of an Unpleasant Work Environment Claim, What Options Are Available for Compensation?
Victims of discrimination may be entitled to monetary compensation, injunctive remedies, and punitive penalties under federal law. Compensation for past and future lost income, among other benefits, may be granted to successful litigants. It’s possible to recoup attorney’s fees and court costs, as well.
In order to be eligible for punitive damages, an employer must have behaved with malice, purpose, or recklessness. Damage awards can be quite significant, sometimes exceeding millions of dollars.
Plaintiffs may also receive injunctive relief. Any discriminatory actions by the employer may be ordered to be stopped, and efforts taken to prevent discrimination in the future may be taken to retain, promote or reinstate the employee.
Get the Help You Need from Ricardo Lopez Law
Working in a hostile atmosphere is immensely draining for those who endure it. Victims who are afraid of losing their jobs may try to ignore harassment, but it is critical that they move quickly to document and report the harassment they have experienced. Under California legislation, there are time constraints.
If you or someone you know has been harassed at work, you should get legal advice from an experienced labor lawyer. An employee’s ability to keep their job, build a compelling case, and collect damages for harassment can be greatly influenced by the quality of legal counsel they get. We are at Long Beach and would love to help you get justice – monetary and otherwise.
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