Fort Lauderdale Hostile Work Environment Attorneys Explain Hostile Work Environment Claims
What is a hostile work environment?
A hostile work environment can be created by a boss or coworker whose actions, communication or behavior makes doing your job impossible or unreasonable. This means that the behavior altered the terms, conditions or reasonable expectations of a comfortable work environment for an employee. Additionally, the actions must be discriminatory in nature.
A hostile work environment can cause health problems for those affected. Common health problems resulting from a hostile work environment include the following:
How can I prove that I have a hostile work environment?
The law defines when a work environment is truly hostile. Rude, obnoxious or inappropriate actions by a boss or coworker don’t necessarily amount to a hostile work environment. A workplace is considered hostile by federal law under these conditions:
- The actions or behavior must discriminate against a protected classification, such as age, religion, disability or race. Unfortunately, this type of behavior must be relentless to be classified as creating a hostile environment. A couple of distasteful remarks does not constitute a hostile workplace.
- The hostile behavior, action or communication must be severe. It must be persistent over time, and the hostility seriously must disturb the employee’s work. The hostile work environment may also interfere with an employee’s career progress. For example, an employee may not receive a promotion as a result of the hostile behavior.
- It is reasonable to assume that the employer knew about the actions or behavior and did not sufficiently intervene. Consequently, the employer can be liable for the creation of a hostile work environment.
Sexual harassment is a common factor in many hostile work environments. Examples of harassing behavior that can create a hostile or abusive workplace include the display of pornographic pictures or cartoons, touching and grabbing, sexual remarks or jokes, and the physical interference with movement.
It is important to note that the sexual harassment that creates a hostile or abusive work environment can include the behavior of supervisors, coworkers and non-employees at a worksite or work-related site. In addition, the victim of the harassment does not necessarily have to be the direct target of the behavior. If you believe that you have been negatively affected by a hostile environment, contact an employment attorney in Fort Lauderdale to discuss your legal rights.
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The attorneys at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. are available when you need us. We offer free consultations, free parking and legal services on a contingency-fee basis. You don’t pay if we don’t win your case. We’re just down the street from the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, and our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 888.Ask.Andrew or contact us online today to talk to an experienced hostile work environment lawyer.