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.
The City of Los Angeles provides a great resource,
Equal Employment Opportunity
Handbook for City Commissioners, outlining guidelines for maintaining a safe and fair workplace within the city.
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 in Los Angeles 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.
How to Prove a Hostile Work Environment in California
When you are the victim of or witness a hostile work environment that includes workplace discrimination or sexual harassment:
- As soon as possible, inform your manager or employer of the activity. Most of the time, especially if the abuser is a coworker, management can take steps to stop the harassment or discrimination in the workplace and ensure that it won't continue.
- Make sure you keep detailed notes about the date you reported the events, and the action (or lack of action) that management took. If management does not respond, you can use your record of events as evidence.
- In the event that you have reported the harassment of the workplace, and the hostility persists, then start gathering witnesses. Check with others to see if they have seen or experienced the inappropriate behavior first-hand. In hostile work environment cases in California, having witnesses can be beneficial. In addition, they can provide objective information on the situation, such as the frequency and severity of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment.
- Workplace hostility persists despite attempts to resolve the problem with management, do not wait to seek legal help. Contact an employment lawyer in Los Angeles. With the help of our Los Angeles hostile work environment lawyers, you can file a claim for damages for hostile work environment.
What to Do If You’re a Victim of a Hostile Work Environment in the city of Los Angeles
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.
Hear It From Our Clients
Meet With Our Team