Hiring a Hostile Work Environment Lawyer Can Improve the Workplace
Employees have a right to work in an environment that is safe and free of undue harassment. Unfortunately, not everyone respects that right, which can lead to tension and other problems in the workplace. Taking a stand against workplace harassment by hiring a hostile work environment lawyer can make the situation better for everyone.
At first glance, hiring an attorney to litigate workplace issues seems like an aggressive move to take. In reality, a lawsuit is sometimes the only way to get a company to listen to the concerns of employees and take action to rectify the situation. If you have gone up the chain of command complaining about the same or similar issues and the situation has not been rectified, then contacting an attorney may be your best option for obtaining a satisfying resolution.
Before you make the call, however, it’s important to understand what the legal definition of a hostile work environment is. Good natured teasing, occasional off-colored jokes, or lack of recognition of hard work can make for an awkward and even stressful workplace, but these situations do not constitute a hostile work environment in the eyes of the law.
According to the law, a work environment may be deemed hostile if
- The actions of employees or management target people in a protected classification such as age or race.
- The behavior is significant and pervasive; occurring over a period of time and continuing despite efforts to curtail it, such as asking the person or persons to stop.
- The behavior was reported to human resources or other responsible parties and no effort was made to investigate or effectively stop the behavior.
- The behavior is disruptive and made it difficult or impossible for the employee to perform his or her job. The behavior may also be deemed hostile if it interferes with the employee’s career progress.
If you’re not sure your particular situation meets the legal requirements, it’s best to contact a hostile work environment lawyer. The attorney will review the facts of the case and help you determine whether legal action can be taken to resolve the issues.