Burbank Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

Burbank Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

Burbank Hostile Work Environment Attorney

From supporting yourself and your family to affording fun luxuries, your job is a non-negotiable part of life. Unfortunately, for many of us, work consumes more of our time than time spent with family and friends. With so much involved, the last thing anyone wants to experience is the frustrations of being mistreated in the workplace.

If you are experiencing a hostile work environment, consulting a Burbank employment lawyer in California can help you understand your rights and take appropriate action.

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When you experience inappropriate behavior at work that is considered severe or unwelcome, you may be the victim of a hostile work environment. The Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employees from these experiences and allows them options should these policies be broken. There are many forms of hostile work environments that include sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination. Other forms include harassment because of:

  • Race/ethnicity
  • Religious harassment
  • Disability harassment
  • Other protected characteristics, whether actual or perceived

Co-workers or supervisors can create hostile work environments. Although similar, hostile work environments are forms of harassment and are different from discrimination. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you.

Hostile Work Environment Laws

Hostile work environments are a form of harassment that expands the scope of workplace bullying. Because of its severity, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act defines the rights employees have to pursue violators legally. When both of the following are true, harassing behavior can create a hostile work environment:

  • The harassment is because of or involves a protected characteristic.
  • The harassment is either unwanted or severe.

There are certain characteristics that are considered protected. These include identifying characteristics such as:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Marital status
  • Abilities or disabilities
  • Age
  • Gender (including identity or expression)
  • Sexual orientation

Because workplace harassment is considered pervasive and severe, any offending conduct that is only occasional, isolated, sporadic, or trivial does not count as workplace harassment. However, if personal safety is threatened, there may still be grounds for a hostile work environment claim in California.

In any hostile work environment claim in Burbank, CA, the courts consider “reasonable person” standards, which can be viewed both objectively and subjectively.

Behaviors of a Hostile Work Environment

There are several behaviors that can be classified as part of a hostile work environment. These include:

  • Sexual advances
  • Daily comments about the particular clothing or appearance of a subordinate employee
  • A coworker simulating sexual acts that cause colleagues to laugh while others can see
  • Slurs that are sexual, racial, or homophobic in nature and directed at the complainant
  • Refusing to allow employees to speak any other language than English
  • Mocking an employee’s native language
  • Continuously calling other employees names

These may seem like extreme examples, but to qualify as a hostile work environment, it must be considered severe, unwelcome, and persistent.

How to File a Claim

The United States makes sure that workers have rights, and that includes the right to be free of harassment in the workplace. Because of that, victims can invoke their rights when they have been violated.

Much like a case of discrimination, complaints of a hostile work environment must first be brought to the attention of the human resources department. Without this step, employers could find an easy way out of their legal obligation to protect their workers and provide them with a safe working environment. When the employer is notified, they have an obligation to investigate the complaint and reasonably correct the situation. Should they fail to do so, the employee has a right to request the help of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Once an employee has filed a claim with the EEOC, an investigation is generally launched, which often forces employers into a mediation process. If this does not produce an adequate resolution, then an attorney can work with you to file a claim in court.

FAQs About Burbank, CA Hostile Work Environment law

Can You Sue for a Hostile Work Environment in California?

Yes. Employees are protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which governs the treatment of workers in their place of employment. It dictates the rights an employee has and the responsibilities an employer must uphold. Violations of these should be reported to your employer first, who has the right to reasonably resolve the complaint. If they fail to do so, there are legal avenues employees can take.

How Do I Prove a Hostile Work Environment in California?

Hostile work environments can be proven in a number of ways.

  • Recorded communications that prove the abuse or harassment (emails, texts, voicemails)
  • Video or audio recordings that show the behavior in question
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Interoffice memos or work documents
  • Any communication with the Human Resources department that indicates a failure to act on a complaint

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove a Hostile Work Environment?

It is important to keep a record of all harassing behavior in the workplace. This could be through a personal log that you keep when the incidents occur, email messages that contain harassing language, or any witness statements that can corroborate your experience. If you report the incident to Human Resources, you should record the date of the complaint and to whom you spoke. It is best to have some documented proof that HR was notified, such as an electronic recording.

What Compensation Can I Expect in a Hostile Work Environment Claim?

Claims for a hostile work environment could include compensation for lost wages or earnings that result from work missed because of the harassment. In addition, damages for any medical care that is required because of the impact on mental or physical health, or any emotional distress, could also be recovered in the claim.

Contact Burbank Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

Everyone wants to be able to enjoy their job so that they can take care of themselves and their family. If you feel you are prevented from exercising that right because of a hostile work environment, seek help as quickly as possible. You are not only entitled to a better working environment, but you may also be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, our team of knowledgeable experts can review your case and help determine the best course of action. Standing up to others in a hostile environment can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. Contact our offices today and let us help.


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