Get the Help You Need from an Experienced Los Angeles Hostile Work Environment Attorney
No one should have to work in a toxic environment. There is no excuse for any form of mistreatment or abuse in the workplace—no matter how subtle and regardless of whether the perpetrators understand the consequences of their actions. If you are a victim, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
Of course, in many cases, mistreatment and abuse are neither subtle nor unintentional. Offensive comments, inappropriate touching, bullying, and other forms of misconduct often have a specific purpose and intended consequence. These cases are particularly egregious, and they deserve to be handled accordingly.
If you are dealing with a negative workplace culture or if you have recently been forced to leave your job to protect yourself from harmful situations, we can help you. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping employees in your situation. We know what you’re dealing with, we understand the financial and non-financial costs involved, and we can use our experience to hold your employer accountable.
Understanding What Qualifies as Toxic Workplace Situations
Allowing a hostile environment to exist is considered a form of harassment under California and federal law. A work environment can become hostile in two main ways—either: (i) harassing conduct is so pervasive that it creates a toxic atmosphere, or, (ii) harassing conduct is so severe that it justifies a claim under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains:
“Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.”
Conduct that creates a toxic workplace can take a variety of different forms. Supervisors and coworkers may engage in one specific type of harassment, or they may engage in a broader practice of harassing conduct that reflects a culture of discrimination. For example, an attorney may be able to help you file a claim based on one or more of the following:
- Suggestive, explicit or negative comments about a person’s appearance
- Suggestive, explicit or negative comments about a person’s protected characteristics
- Offensive jokes, pictures or videos
- Slurs and epithets
- Name calling and personal attacks
- Insults, intimidation and mockery
- Inappropriate touching
- Physical assaults or threats
- Sexual assaults or threats
- Interfering with an employee’s ability to work
Hostile work environment claims can involve harassment of employees based on all types of protected characteristics. If a supervisor or coworker (or group of coworkers) makes you feel unsafe, uncomfortable or unwelcome based on your age, color, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, national origin, sex, sexual preference, or other protected characteristic, you should talk to an attorney about your legal rights.
Taking Action to Protect Yourself
If you believe that you are a victim of a negative workplace culture, there are some steps you should take promptly. For example, if you have not done so already, you should file a report with your employer’s Human Resources (HR) department promptly. Although, if you work in HR, or if you have concerns that reporting your situation could lead to further harassment or abuse, you can have your attorney deal with your employer on your behalf.
You should also take detailed notes. While this can be difficult, it is also very important. Try to write down everything you have experienced, including the date (or approximate date) and the people who were involved. If you have emails, text messages or any other communications that are relevant to your claim, you should be sure to keep these in a safe place (away from work) as well.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help You With Your Claims
If you are a victim of harassment in the workplace, there are lots of ways a lawyer can help you. For example, when you hire an attorney at Attorneys for Employees, your attorney will:
1. File a Claim in the Correct Venue
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney will either file a claim in court, arbitration or with the appropriate state or federal agency. Either way, this will formally start the process of holding your employer accountable.
2. Help You Decide What Constitutes a Fair Outcome
When you have a hostile work environment, claim, it is largely up to you to decide what remedies you want to pursue. Your attorney can help you decide what constitutes a fair outcome, whether this involves having your employer implement new policies and safeguards, recovering financial compensation, or both.
3. Negotiate a Settlement with Your Employer if Warranted
In many cases, it will be in the employees’ best interests to negotiate a settlement. If settling makes sense in your case, your attorney can negotiate with your employer’s lawyers on your behalf.
4. Take Your Employer to a Hearing or Trial if Necessary
If settling your case doesn’t make sense, your attorney can take your employer to a hearing or trial. Your attorney will use the available evidence to try to prove that you are a victim of a negative workplace environment, and your attorney will fight to secure the fair outcome you deserve.
Speak with a Los Angeles Hostile Work Environment Attorney in Confidence
Do you need to know more about filing a claim? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly. Contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation today.