What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment
Though most people are aware of the fact that they can sue an employer for unfair treatment due to discrimination or sexual abuse, fewer know that they also have the right to take action against an employer who allows a hostile work environment to persist. Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge about what actually constitutes a hostile work environment results in those that do know about such legal claims to even pursue one when they should. By understanding, however, what a hostile work environment looks like, you can better ensure that you are prepared to take the proper legal action should you, a colleague, or loved one be subjected to this type of abusive work environment.
Examples of What Makes a Hostile Work Environment
The legal definition of a hostile work environment is quite broad, as, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.”
This definition encompasses a number of actions in the workplace, including the following:
- Offensive images
- Teasing / Slurs
- Threatening actions / Intimidation
- Offensive jokes
These must occur repeatedly and be made against a protected status, such as race, gender, or religion. The large difference between actions that constitute a hostile work environment and those that are considered to be discriminatory is that those that make up a hostile work environment are often directed at a broad group rather than an individual person.
Why You Should Hire an Experienced Attorney
If you believe you have been unfairly treated at work due to a hostile work environment, it is often best to enlist the support of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. These legal representatives often have greater success in getting defendants compensation, such as the following:
- Punitive damages
- Emotional trauma
- Lost pay
Getting the justice and compensation you need after being mistreated at work can be difficult when you don’t have a skilled lawyer by your side.
At the Berman Law Firm, P.A., our legal team is dedicated to ensuring that victims of workplace harassment, discriminatory practices, and hostile work environments get the justice and compensation they deserve. Thus, if you have been subjected to a hostile work environment and want to hold those responsible for this unfair treatment accountable, do not hesitate to get in touch today. To get answers to your questions, call (727) 550-8989 or use our FREE Consultation form.