Seeking Justice For Those Affected By Hostile Work Environments
Work conditions should not be insufferable. Employees have the right to be free from intimidation, fear of verbal abuse, oppressive work environments, or other extremely uncomfortable situations. Employees who hate coming to work because the conditions are agonizing should review their case with skilled lawyer and learn what legal steps can be taken to hold their employer accountable. Work environments should be friendly, not hostile.
At Sam Nicholson Law Office, PLLC, our lawyer has proven experience representing employees who are treated unfairly. Our team has successfully brought lawsuits for many employees who have suffered at work through the fault of an unruly employer. We appreciate and manage the difficulty in getting other coworkers to cooperate in a hostile work environment case. Employees should not suffer in silence.
You do have rights. We are here to help employees feel comfortable at work again.
Types Of Hostile Work Environment Claims
Not every uncomfortable event at work gives rise to a lawsuit. Some of the stresses of work are just due to the demands of the job. Being yelled at by the boss on occasion is not likely to be considered hostile.
However, when employers purposely make work unbearable in the hope that the employee will just leave the company, a discrimination complaint based on a hostile environment may be appropriate. Some of the cases we handle include:
- Sexual harassment claims. Sexually related conduct may entitle the worker to bring a direct claim for sexual harassment. Some acts of sexual intimidation that can also create a hostile workplace include suggestive comments, inappropriate touching, sexually-suggestive pictures and lewd language.
- Age discrimination claims. Creating a hostile environment based on age can give rise to an employee discrimination case under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Failing to give an older worker a chance to do the same tasks as younger workers is one hostile environment factor. Separating older workers from younger workers can be an indication of hostility.
- Disability discrimination claims. Singling someone out because of his or her disability can create a hostile environment. Disabled workers should be given the tools and means to perform their job. They should be encouraged to communicate with coworkers.
- Discrimination based on Title VII violations. Creating a hostile environment due to race, color, religion, national origin or genetic information may be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which our firm can use to hold employers accountable.
Other acts of hostile conduct include physical and verbal assaults, slurs and ridicule. Retaliation against an employee can be considered hostile. Each claim must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Many factors go into the determination.
Generally, misconduct has to be severe and persuasive. Work harassment is not limited to the main employer. Any supervisor or coworker, or even a nonemployee, can create the hostile environment. The employee does not have to be the victim of the harassment. Harassing a family member or friend of the employee can be hostile too.
Employer Liability For Creating A Hostile Environment
Employers can be sued under federal or Kentucky law for discrimination based on the creation of hostile work conditions. Attorney Nicholson can bring the right claim in the appropriate court. In federal harassment cases, an initial complaint is usually filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC then investigates the case and orders appropriate remedies. If the EEOC does not act to the satisfaction of the employee, then a claim may be brought in the appropriate court to hold the employer accountable.
Remedies for creating a hostile work environment can include compensatory or punitive damages. Compensatory damages are money paid because the victim had expenses that can be calculated such as:
- Medical bills
- The cost of searching for a new job
- Loss of pay
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages can be asserted as well. The aim of punitive damages is to punish the employer instead of compensating the employee – but the employee is the one who gets the money.
Get A Proven Ally In Your Corner
The Sam Nicholson Law Office, PLLC, fights for anyone who is the subject of discrimination in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort and Paducah and across Kentucky. We aggressively fight to hold the employer accountable and to get you the right employment status and all the work benefits you deserve.