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Date Modified: March 23, 2023
Black Woman With Hostile Attitude
Angry woman.

Harassment in the workplace can be overwhelming for you as an employee. Others may not see it as harassment or even be aware of the bullying.

Notably, sexual harassment may not get noticed by other employees for what it is. At the same time, you may suffer from anxiety, insomnia, depression over finances, worry, and what you should do.

Here, our top Los Angeles personal injury attorneys from Ehline Law Firm tell you how to protect yourself and come out on top in this helpful article.

  • In some situations, post-traumatic stress disorder can manifest itself.
  • Also, other reactions are harmful to you, physically and emotionally.
  • Hence, you may find you are unable to assert yourself appropriately at work.

And all of this is due to your hostile work environment. In fact, Michael Ehline himself has worked in a hostile work situation. So our accident attorneys understand what it is.

And we don’t like it. Hence, we are willing to fight like mad on behalf of the victims. Most of all, we won’t rest until victims get justice in or out of court.

The goal is getting you monetary damages to send a message to your employer. The message is clear. Honor the spirit of the employment contract instead. So stop trying to terminate the employee constructively. After all, he or she is the object of the employer’s aggression.

  • What makes Ehline so different is that we are unrelenting.
  • A former United States Marine runs the firm.
  • So you know right away that failure is not an option.
  • Do or die, or staff of trained experts are ready to roll.

Read on and discover more about what makes us different.

What is The EEOC Position/Definitions of Hostile Workplace?

There are state and federal laws to protect employees from workplace harassment. But not all harassment at work is illegal. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outlines the differences. So it covers what legal and unlawful hostile work environments are.

  • The EEOC sights annoyances, petty slights, and isolated incidents as not considered illegal.

Of course, this is unless the isolated incident is exceptionally hostile. Then it may be illegal. The EEOC says hostile work environments exist if reasonable people think it is harassing. Usually, you would need to show intimidating or offensive behavior. Often a lawyer can help victims understand when the employer legally crossed the line.

Understanding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Learning the Age Discrimination and Employment Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act. They can all get used together to form a mighty sword.

When harassment creates a hostile work environment may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It could also break the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967. Furthermore, it may involve violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. So it could also be harassment violating the employee’s fundamental rights.

It is harassment involving:

  • Religion
  • Pregnancy
  • Racial harassment
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual Advances
  • Genetic or national origin.

Much like the military, the victim of harassment in the workplace must first follow the procedures of the company. The same is true when making complaints.

Also, this is so whether or not it is to a supervisor or the human resources department. The employee should report what the issue consists of.

  • Also, it would help if you documented why you believe it is creating a hostile work environment in your written complaint to management.

Some companies do not have a written policy for workplace harassment or hostile work environment. Hence, in those cases, employees should report it to immediate supervisors.

But you don’t have to report it to the person who is creating the sad situation. In this case, the employee should make a complaint to someone above the supervisor.

  • Sometimes, you will need to go to another supervisor or company owner and make a record.

How About Stopping Workplace Harassment and a Hostile Work Environment?

The employee who is a victim of workplace harassment or sexual harassment should request the person harassing to stop their behavior.

If this does not stop the offensive behavior, then the employee should follow the workplace complaint procedure. So this may be complaining to superiors, human resources, or directly to the owner.

  • Having a documented record of the events of the hostile work environment can be used to back up the complaint.
  • This record of the events should have an account of the harassment and the reaction it caused the employee.

But what if the workplace complaint procedure does not resolve the harassment or worsen the hostile work environment?

  • Then the next step is to consult an experienced hostile work environment attorney.
  • A trained advocate can help the employee determine what the next step in stopping the harassment should happen.

  • Why Should You Take Notes?

When an employee believes they are a victim of bullying, they must keep a journal of the offensive incidents.

You should make notes of:

  • The date
  • Time
  • Description of the event.

This can help you in two manners.

  1. First, it follows the complaint procedures of the company.
  2. Secondly, it helps if the employee files a legal claim against the harasser and the employer.

You may believe you have a clear memory of what occurred. But memories fade, along with dates, times, and witnesses to the harassment incident.

Having a written account of the events will not depend on memory recall at a stressful and emotional time. If the claim goes to court, there will be a valid, documented account that is credible to the court and jurors.

IMPORTANT: Document the Facts and Not Narratives or Opinions.

The written account of the incidents at the time they occur should be only relevant facts of the harassment or discriminatory behavior. It should not be an in-depth document that may add more than the actual event.

So this could make the written account less credible if every minor annoyance in the workplace gets documented.

But there are other forms of evidence the employee may find to help build their claim of harassment.

  • For example, it could be in the form of offensive pictures or harassing emails.
  • Save these items to show the level of harassment occurring in the workplace.
  • Save any paperwork related to the issue, such as write-ups.
  • Hold on to the employee handbook.
  • Make images or copies of the posted harassment or discrimination policy.

What Steps Should you Not to Take?

Do not attempt to record conversations secretly. And this is true even though it is the person engaged in the harassing behavior. You could be in legal trouble in California.

  • The problem with doing this is the employee will be illegally taping the conversation.
  • In the state of California, the law says there must be consent by the other party to get recorded.
  • Otherwise, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

This could result in criminal charges getting brought against the employee. So the person working in a hostile work environment could go to jail if not careful.

  • So unless there was consent by the employer for recording, be careful. Also, the recording most likely would not get permitted in state court as evidence.
  • After all, it may have been obtained illegally.
  • So it could get used as evidence of illegal recording.
  • Federal courts may allow it but may also land the victim in state jail.

Do not encourage sexual harassment in any manner.

  • Don’t flirt or get intimate.
  • That could make it appear it is consensual rather than unwanted harassment.
  • Attempting to trap the alleged harasser is not smart.
  • Also, this is a situation where there are usually witnesses.
  • This could hurt you in court. Because of this, the facts recounted by witnesses can appear much different.

So the jury may discount or disbelieve the allegations in the complaint. So, in that case, filing a lawsuit could be counterproductive. But employees pretending they don’t realize they are getting harassed is not wise either.

Because of this, it may push the sexual harasser to increase the advances. So the employee should make it clear the behavior is unwanted each time an incident occurs.

What is Offensive Behavior and Hostile Work Environment?

Hostile work environments can take various forms. Hence, they can manifest as offensive pictures, harassing emails, or sexual advances.

Also, this behavior may be offensive or create a hostile work environment. Such behavior may include, though is not limited to the following:

  • Insults
  • Ridicule
  • Name-calling or epithets
  • Interfering with work performance
  • Slurs
  • Offensive jokes
  • Intimidation
  • Physical assault or threats
  • Offensive pictures, posters, or other objects.

Harassment, discrimination, and offensive behavior can create a hostile work environment. So it can make an employee into a victim. When you are a target and complain, they may get no results from the company or employer.

Then they have the right to file a lawsuit against the offender and employer. Any employee can become a victim of harassment resulting in a hostile work environment. This includes both female and male employees.

Laws protect the rights of employees. These statutes and codes permit employees to file a claim against the defendants. By holding employers, accountable, workplaces can be safer for all employees.

What About Human Resource Policies?

It is important for the harassed employee to follow the company’s procedures.

  • So first, they must file a complaint.
  • You should read the employer’s policy on sexual harassment and discrimination. Mostly, these are corporate policies. But they also include procedures to escalate and report harassment. So ensure they get followed.
  • Make sure and use the correct complaint procedure within the company.
  • Last, if the harassment is not stopped, then consult a respected attorney.

Retaliation by Firing after Filing a Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit

Employees who are harassed and then fired after filing a lawsuit against the offender and employer are protected by the law from wrongful termination.

After being fired, it is imperative to consult a wrongful termination lawyer to determine the best course of action to take.

How Can You Obtain Legal Assistance for Hostile Work Environment Claims?

Employees have legal rights. Included in these rights is not getting harassed in the workplace. This is true whether it is sexual advances, or racial discrimination.

Even age discrimination, disability discrimination, or other behavior violates employee California and federal laws. So employees who have become a victim of harassment have the right to demand it gets stopped. And this process starts first by chiding by telling the offender.

But victims can also file a complaint to human resources, a supervisor, or the owner. When offending behavior is not stopped, the employee or employees can take legal action. That’s where our experts come into play.

Ehline Law Firm is a reputable attorney group in California and in Texas. So we have experience in handling hostile work environment claims. Hence, we can help obtain the compensation the victims deserve. Our Southern California law firm and Los Angeles-based injury lawyers are experts.

We specialize in litigation and negotiations. Also, we help with wrongful termination lawsuits. Most of all, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the victims’ rights. Also, we have a sterling reputation within the community and the courts.

Speak With a Hostile Workplace Lawyer In Los Angeles Today!

Consult our lawyers if you believe you are a victim of workplace harassment. If it resulted in a hostile work environment, you must determine the best course of legal action to take. Call a hostile work environment attorney now at (213) 596-9642. You can also fill out our useful website contact form.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

Top Injury lawyer, Michael Ehline, Esq.
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