Hostile Work Environment

A “Hostile Work Environment” is when you (an employee) are part of a “protected group” and are subject to harassing conduct at work that is so “severe or pervasive” that it changes the conditions of your employment and creates an abusive environment.

It is unlawful for an employer to allow an environment of harassing conduct if the employer is aware of the harassment and does nothing to correct it.

If you believe that you have been a victim of Hostile Work Environment call Abogato and speak with one of our Attorneys.  Our attorneys will listen to your situation and let you know how Abogato can help.

WHAT IS HARASSING CONDUCT?

Harassing conduct can include:

  • Verbal harassment (including obscene language, demeaning comments, slurs, or threats);
  • Physical harassment (including unwanted touching, assault, physical interference with your work);
  • Visual harassment (including offensive posters, objects, cartoons, or drawings; or
  • Unwanted sexual advances.

Other forms of harassing conduct may exist.  Talk to an Abogato lawyer to learn more.

WHAT DOES “SEVERE OR PERVASIVE” MEAN?

To have a claim for hostile work environment, the harassing conduct cannot generally be a one time incident or something that only occurs in rare instances.

The harassing conduct must be so serious that it affects the psychological well-being of an employee or conduct that happens regularly or continuously.

To help decide whether harassing conduct is severe enough or pervasive enough, courts take all of the situation’s circumstances into consideration.  Specifically, courts may look at:

  • The nature of the harassing conduct;
  • How often the harassing conduct occurs;
  • The total number of days over which the harassing conduct occurs; and
  • The context in which the harassing conduct occurs.

THE CONDUCT MUST BE BOTH OBJECTIVELY AND SUBJECTIVELY CONSIDERED ABUSIVE.  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

To be considered a Hostile Work Environment, the conduct must be considered abusive by both you (subjective) and a “reasonable person in the same circumstances” (objective).

I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT AT MY WORKPLACE AND MY EMPLOYER HAS DONE NOTHING TO CORRECT IT.  WHAT CAN I DO?

It is possible that you may have a legal claim against your employer.  Call Abogato and talk to one of our attorneys to see how we can help.

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