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When your employer is responsible for a hostile work environment

Many individuals say that they do not enjoy their jobs. Due to their position’s stressful tasks, annoyances of other employees and even incompetent bosses, many workers feel like their work environment is to blame. Yet when employees bring forward hostile work environment claims, strict boundaries are set to determine whether the employee has legal grounds to file a claim against an employer.

Know that if you face any type of discrimination in the workplace, including a hostile work environment, United States law gives you the legal authority to ensure your safety and comfort through a harassment claim. If you wish to bring a claim against your employer, you want to hire an experienced employment law attorney to aid you in receiving compensatory damages. First, with the help of your attorney, you want to ensure that your employer proves responsible for your claim.

Hostile work environment harassment

According to the Department of Labor (DOL) for the United States, a hostile work environment includes unwelcomed conduct of an employee. The conducted acts must indicate an environment that is:

  • Intimidating
  • Hostile; or
  • Offensive

The key in determining whether your case may prove to involve a hostile work environment includes the protected classes. If the acts conducted in the environment subtly or outwardly call out or offend an employee’s race, age, gender or any other Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) protected identifier, your environment may prove to require remedy through the courts.

In addition, the DOL explains that the conduct must be:

  • Abusive to the affected party
  • Severe and persuasive enough to create a hostile environment for a reasonable person

Determining whether your employer is responsible

You have the right to bring a hostile work environment claim against your employer if the conduct you experience falls into the above categories. You want to consult an attorney before drafting a claim, so that he or she can help you determine which elements and documents to provide in court.

Your employer may prove responsible for your hostile work environment if:

  1. It did not actively and reasonably prevent the harassing behavior
  2. You took advantage of the preventative measures that your employer provided
  3. The harassment is conducted by any employee that it controls

The EEOC will examine the conduct carefully and determine whether you experience a hostile work environment through harassment. Know that if your protected class experiences discrimination or offensive behavior, you may legally bring a claim.

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