Every American worker has the right to expect a safe and welcoming workplace. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case for thousands of people across all industries each year. While most American employers abide by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations aimed at maintaining safe and inclusive workplaces, some employers do not. Far too frequently, employers fail to uphold their obligations to their employees and allow hostile work environments to manifest.
A “hostile work environment” is any workplace in which an employee is prevented from completing their job duties due to mistreatment. This type of workplace environment can take many forms. However, while many people are stressed by their work—and some may even dread going to work every day—a high-stress work environment is not the same thing as a hostile work environment. If you believe recent experiences in your workplace have caused it to become hostile, it’s important to speak with a Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney as soon as possible. You could have options for legal recourse, and the right legal team will be an invaluable asset as you explore those options.
Even if your situation seems perfectly straightforward, navigating federal employment laws and state-level regulations that apply to your case can be confusing. You risk overlooking key aspects of your claim or misinterpreting complex legal statutes. If you were subjected to a hostile work environment, it’s vital to secure the support and guidance that only a Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney can offer.
Your legal team will help you gather the evidence necessary to substantiate your claim. This may include records of correspondence between you, your coworkers, and your supervisors, as well as statements from coworkers who are willing to support your claim. Your attorney may also work to obtain statements from past employees who had similar experiences in your workplace. Since hostile work environment claims often fall in line with wrongful termination cases, harassment, and employment discrimination claims, you may need to assess which laws apply to your case. You can rely on your attorney to determine which state and federal laws your employer violated and assist you in holding them accountable.
Every hostile work environment is different. It’s possible for a supervisor, coworkers, or a combination of multiple parties to create a hostile work environment. In addition, a hostile work environment may damage only one employee, a few employees, or a group of employees. Some of the most cited details of hostile work environments include:
These are just a few examples of how a hostile work environment claim may arise in Los Angeles. If you have dealt with any form of hostile work environment, it is essential to determine whether you have grounds for a claim against your employer. Every employer must adhere to the anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies of the EEOC, and failure to do so means liability for affected employees’ damages.
If you experience discrimination or harassment in your workplace that creates a hostile work environment, you cannot directly sue your employer. Instead, legal action in response to a hostile work environment begins with a claim to the EEOC. The EEOC is responsible for investigating all claims of workplace law violations in the US. Your Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney can assist you with completing your claim forms and filing them with the EEOC. Once the EEOC receives your claim, they will investigate it to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer.
If the EEOC determines that your hostile work environment was the result of the employer’s failure to follow applicable state and/or federal employment laws, they will issue you a Notice of Right to Sue. This Notice allows you to proceed with a civil suit against your employer. At this point, your Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney will help you determine the full scope of your claimable damages and guide you through the subsequent legal proceedings.
Your case is likely to fall under both state and federal anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws. Interpreting these laws as they pertain to your case can be a challenge. Your legal team will assist you in determining the scope of the offenses included in your claim and whether you qualify to seek damages with a civil suit. For example, some hostile work environment claims simply seek equitable settlement, which usually means the employee is allowed to return to their previous position with new policies in place to prevent further issues. However, some hostile work environment claims seek more substantial compensation.
Depending on the nature of the mistreatment you experienced, you could have grounds to seek several types of damages. For example, if you were forced to leave your job due to a hostile work environment, you could seek compensation for lost income and benefits. It’s also possible to seek compensation for emotional distress, medical expenses, the cost of a job search, and any other out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to the hostile work environment. In extreme cases, employers may also be liable for punitive damages. Punitive damages typically apply when an employer committed egregious violations of applicable state and federal employment laws.
Your hostile work environment claim could be worth much more than you initially expected—but only if you have the right legal team handling your case. A skilled Los Angeles hostile work environment lawyer will guide you through each phase of your case. Your attorney will help you reach a satisfactory conclusion that holds your employer accountable for the mistreatment you experienced.
If you believe you have grounds for a hostile work environment claim in Los Angeles, the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez are ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a Los Angeles hostile work environment attorney.