When work gets stressful, deadlines loom close and the pressure is really on, those differences in personality that can usually be tolerated can become a significant issue. While it is not a legal requirement to have a great relationship with your colleagues or co-workers, certain types of hostility can constitute illegal behavior. In the workplace, we are all adults and are responsible for doing our jobs to a high standard, but we are also people, who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. If your colleagues, managers, or employers have become aggressive, discriminatory, or are retaliating against you reporting illegal activity, a Torrance hostile work environment attorney may be able to act on your behalf, holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions.
When Does a Difference in Personalities Become a Hostile Work Environment?
From time to time, you will work with people who are unlikely to ever become your friends – that is unavoidable and a fact of life. However, even when personalities clash, it is never acceptable to make a coworker feel threatened, intimidated, or offended. According to the EEOC, most isolated incidents, annoying behaviors, and petty slights will not constitute actionable hostility. A hostile work environment is created when any harassment reaches a level that would be deemed offensive, intimidating, or unfriendly by any normal person.
Before a hostile work environment attorney can file a suit on your behalf, the hostility in question must breach one or more of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Aged Discrimination in Employment Act, or Civil Rights Acts. The line between what is legally acceptable, and what violates the law can be somewhat blurred and open to interpretation, meaning you should not attempt to navigate the complexities of the legal process alone.
A Torrance hostile work environment attorney could act on your behalf when situations such as the following arise:
- Employees slinging racial slurs at one or more people of color or foreign descent
- A worker trying to physically challenge another due to their speech impediment
- Name-calling based on religious beliefs
- Interference with daily work activities by those acting inappropriately
- Sexual innuendo, provocative emails, or sexual content aimed at female employees
- Mocking an employee due to their need to use a wheelchair
Only by discussing your circumstances with an experienced Torrance hostile work environment attorney from Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers can you ascertain whether you have a valid claim.
What to Do in a Hostile Work Environment
Nobody wants to litigate against their employers unless it becomes absolutely unavoidable. When you first notice that your work environment is becoming hostile, there are some steps you can follow to try and prevent it from spiraling out of control.
- Discuss your concerns with management and the perpetrator, arranging a meeting if required
- If the issue continues, document the results of this meeting, including time, date, location and attendees
- After each subsequent incident, document the date, time and specifics of the hostile behavior, recording it verbatim if possible
- Speak to a Torrance hostile work environment attorney for expert legal advice on how best to proceed