A hostile work environment is an instance of workplace discrimination that is prohibited by federal, state, and several local legislation. Unwelcome conduct that has nothing to do with an employee’s work performance, but rather is based on their race, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, pregnancy, ethnicity, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information are all examples of workplace and employment discrimination that creates a hostile work environment. How do you tell if have a hostile work environment claim?
In New York, these two examples of hostile work environments are prohibited by federal and state law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 are among the federal laws that prohibit such discrimination in the workplace. At the state level, the New York State Human Rights Laws also prohibit hostile work environment harassment.
If you are forced to work in a hostile work environment, there are a few things you can do:
It’s critical to take notes about the offensive conduct that makes your workplace unpleasant. You should provide as much information in your notes and communications to the authority to whom you are reporting the abuse as possible, whether it’s the company’s human resources department or outside agency. To be able to take effective measures, the organization must have a good knowledge of what occurred.
What was said or done that constituted workplace harassment in the context of your race, sex, or another protected characteristic should be documented. It will be more effective if you can recall any precise phrases and list the names of any eyewitnesses who were there.
You have the option of producing your documentation in writing or sending it by email to the human resources department. Sending by email will be more beneficial since it will include information on the date and time your report was delivered to the company.
Individuals who believe their rights have been violated should consult with a qualified hostile work environment lawyer to assess their legal options. Although it is not required, having the aid of a workplace lawyer will be quite beneficial to your case.
Your lawyer can help you with all aspects of the procedure, including reporting the hostile environment claim to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR). If a lawsuit is required, your lawyer will assist you in gathering physical evidence and defending you in court.
Recently, the rise in complaints about sexual harassment has shed light on the way that power imbalances in the workplace can result in harmful behavior that has long-lasting effects on victims. At Levine & Blit, our job is to help protect employees who have been subjected to harassment and hostile workplace environments.
If you have experienced workplace misconduct, whether related to your gender or another protected category, our team is here to help you seek justice. Call our NYC hostile work environment lawyers at Levine & Blit: (212) 967-3000.
If your boss frequently yells at your team, does that constitute hostility? What if one of your coworkers refuses to listen to you because of your age? Do you have any recourse for repeated use of slurs and demeaning jokes made by clients in your presence? We understand that a “hostile work environment” can be difficult to pin down.
Even though dealing with rude or temperamental coworkers can have a negative impact on one’s health and mental state, there are no legal protections against general negativity in the workplace. In order to meet the legal definition of a hostile work environment, the action or conduct must be based on a protected category.
According to state and federal law, protected classes include:
Some states, including New York, extend these protections to other groups, including immigrants and pregnant women. This behavior does not have to come from a coworker or supervisor to be considered illegal. Anyone on the premises, including freelancers or even customers, can behave in ways that constitute harassment.
Sexual harassment tends to receive the most attention, since it is currently the most prevalent type of workplace misconduct, but employees can face discrimination for many other reasons as well. According to a survey conducted by the CDC in 2010, nearly 8% of American workers reported hostile work environments.
Another important thing to know about workplace harassment is that the misconduct must be severe and repeated. If one of your coworkers makes an off-color joke, is promptly reprimanded, and never does so again, your employer has properly dealt with the issue—and you would have no cause to complain about them.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the laws regarding hostility in the workplace and uses the “reasonable person” standard to decide where annoyances cross the line into harassment.
Behaviors that may meet this standard include:
Many employees choose to ignore harassment because they are scared their employer will dock their pay, transfer them to less desirable duties, or fire them. It is illegal for companies to retaliate in any way due to a complaint about sexual harassment, discrimination, or other reports detailing infringement on worker rights.
At Levine & Blit, our attorneys fight hard to protect workers’ rights and hold employers accountable. To learn more about your rights as an employee, contact our firm today at (212) 967-3000 to schedule a phone evaluation.
Are you being harassed or experiencing a hostile work environment from your employer or coworkers in New York City? Then you need a workplace lawyer who is both knowledgeable of state and federal law and can be an aggressive advocate for you. The Law Office of Levine & Blit, LLC is a law practice in New York that specializes in helping clients in hostile workplace situations.
Our skilled New York City attorneys can aid you in reporting a hostile workplace to the relevant parties and presenting your case in court if required. For a free case evaluation with a hostile work environment lawyer or for assistance with another claim, like sexual harassment or gender discrimination, contact us online or call us at 212-967-3000.