Los Angeles Hostile Work Environment Lawyers
Protecting Employees in Los Angeles County Since 2012
The Barkhordarian Law Firm has been dedicated to protecting California employees since 2012 in both workers’ comp and employment-related claims, including hostile work environment claims. As an employee, you have a civil right to work in a safe environment that is free of harassment and intolerable treatment. Unfortunately, many employers fail to protect their employees and some even contribute to creating a toxic atmosphere through discrimination and retaliation.
Our Los Angeles hostile work environment lawyers are available to inform you of your rights and take legal action on your behalf if you’ve been subjected to harassment or other types of offensive treatment. We understand how traumatizing and stressful this time may be for you and can handle the details of your case to get optimal results.
What is a Hostile Work Environment?
A work environment can be considered hostile when discriminatory behavior and actions occur against a protected class of people and is severe enough to create an abusive or intimidating atmosphere for those people. Some employees find themselves in a hostile work environment when they’re being discriminated against because of their race, religion, gender, pregnancy, age, or disability.
Harassment is one of the most common causes of hostile work environments and is defined as unwelcome conduct based on discriminatory factors. Sexual harassment can also contribute to an abusive workplace and can be conducted by an employee’s supervisor, coworker, agent of the employer, or even a non-employee.
Illegal conduct that can contribute to a hostile work environment includes:
- Use of sexual language
- Presence of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, such as office-wide emails
- Offensive jokes
- Inappropriate touching
- Physical assaults
- Insults or slurs
- Mockery and ridicule
How Do I Know If I’m in a Hostile Work Environment?
It can be challenging to know whether you’re a victim of a hostile work environment, as some work environments can be classified as difficult or frustrating, but not necessarily hostile and qualifying for legal action. Other people might not be able to see that a pattern of hostility is taking place.
In order to be eligible to file a claim citing a hostile work environment, the offensive behavior must be:
- Disruptive to your work: A hostile work environment isn’t merely just annoying or sometimes distracting. If your mental health is being negatively impacted by harassment or you’re genuinely afraid to come into the office, litigation may be available to you as an option.
- Pervasive, severe, and persistent: Was this behavior repetitive or frequent enough to occur over the course of several weeks? Were you threatened or have you feared for your personal safety? It’s often not enough to have heard one or two derogatory remarks from a coworker.
- Something your employer knew about and didn’t stop: Employers are legally required to provide safe working environments for their employees. If your employer knew about your harassment or abuse and didn’t take the appropriate measures to put it to an end, they’ve violated your rights.
While some discrimination claims require employees to prove that they were fired or received a negative performance review because of things like their race or gender, you don’t have to necessarily prove these same things in a hostile work environment claim, as this behavior can occur without financial harm being caused.
What to Do If You’re a Victim of a Hostile Work Environment
It’s recommended that employees report their hostile work environment to the proper authorities, whether it’s your employer if you’re being harassed by a coworker or your HR representative. If you’ve already complained but your environment did not change, you may be eligible to take legal action.
Our team of attorneys has years of collective experience helping employees who feel scared and trapped in their current jobs and have been traumatized by mistreatment and discrimination. When you call for help, we can deploy our knowledge and resources to stop this behavior and obtain compensation for your damages, which may include psychological distress or lost wages. We understand if you’re feeling hesitant to report this abuse, but employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees for raising these claims. We know your rights and can get to work to put an end to this harassment.
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