WHAT IS A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT?A hostile work environment occurs when harassment has reached a level where: A) The person(s) enduring it feels as it has now become a condition of continued employment i.e. it is normal or acceptable behavior or B) The behavior is so pervasive or severe that the target(s) feels intimidated.
SIGNS OF A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENTContrary to popular belief, having a bad boss or annoying co-worker does not necessarily constitute a hostile work environment. In order For the workplace to be considered hostile, there have to be certain legal criteria fulfilled. This would mean the actions or behavior discriminate against a certain class of people based on age, race, gender, or religion among others. The communication or behavior has to persist for a period of time, not just an offensive or off-color comment made by a staff member. All incidents should be reported to Human Resources promptly so there is a record. The problem becomes significant if it occurs over a period of time and is not addressed by the organization itself. The hostile behavior must be severe. It has to hinder the employee’s ability to do their job. It is assumed the employer knew about the behavior and did not address it. In this case, the employer can be held liable for creating a hostile work environment. The first thing to do in dealing with a hostile work environment is to tell the employee exhibiting the behavior to stop. It is best to get human resources involved, as they can serve as a witness to your displeasure of the behavior. In severe cases, and if you have enough cause, obtaining a hostile work environment attorney in Los Angeles may be your only solution.
WHY IS AN ATTORNEY NECESSARY FOR A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM?Hostile work environment claims typically become very complex. Any person who has experienced a hostile work environment in or around the Los Angeles area needs to work with a skilled attorney who can stand by their side throughout the entire process. An attorney will be your advocate, the person who will help you understand what is going on every step of the way. An attorney with experience handling these cases will be able to use their resources to:
- Conduct a complete investigation into your allegations
- Determine liability for a hostile work environment
- Enlist trusted economic experts to help properly calculate your total losses
- Handle negotiations with every party involved in an effort to reach a fair settlement on your behalf
- Fully prepare to take the case to trial if necessary to ensure your rights are upheld
TIME LIMIT TO FILE A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM IN LOS ANGELESIt can be challenging to understand how long you have to file a hostile work environment claim in Los Angeles. That is because there are various deadlines in place depending on the exact cause of the hostile work environment. We strongly suggest that you contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible so we can help determine the deadlines in place for your particular situation.
- Hostile work environment claims related to discrimination or the violation of a state or federal law must be filed within six months after the date of the alleged hostile actions. However, there are various exceptions related to this six-month period that we would like to discuss with you.
- Hostile work environment complaints regarding an employee taking time off after being the victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking must be filed within one year from the date of the alleged hostile incident.
- Hostile work environment claims related to equal pay violations must be filed within two years from the date of the alleged hostile action.
- Any hostile work environment claims related to the employee reporting health and safety code violations need to be filed within 90 days from the alleged hostile action.