Are you one of the more than 70 percent of Americans who hate their jobs? Is the work simply uninspiring, or is there more to it? Recent data show that there were nearly 90,000 workplace harassment cases filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2014 alone. One can assume there are many more individuals suffering in a hostile environment who merely have never filed suit. Where does your place of employment fit in the continuum? The dedicated attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. are here to help you decide.
Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and a Hostile Environment?
What is workplace discrimination and harassment, and when does harassment rise to the level of a hostile environment, meriting legal attention? The courts look at several criteria to make this determination. Initially, courts examine whether the offending words or actions infringed on the rights of a protected group based on race, national origin, gender, religion, disability, or age. Next, would a “reasonable” person find the speech or action to be offensive? Was the disparate or harassing treatment ubiquitous or severe enough that it became abusive, changing the work atmosphere, even if no job loss occurred? Was it a form of language or behavior that went well beyond isolated instances or petty slights? One inappropriate joke does not constitute a hostile environment, but a culture of razzing or clowning around that takes aim at a particular individual or group might.
What are Some Examples of a Hostile Workplace?
While many cases involve workplaces that are strewn with profanity, threats, or lewdness, some may be surprised to know that there are more subtle forms of harassment that may contribute to a hostile environment. In New York, cases where employees received financial settlements, leaving employers to undergo anti-discrimination training, demonstrate that harassment and discrimination occur in many forms and settings:
- An employee for an ambulance company claimed disability discrimination when his company terminated him after he requested time off to recover from an accident.
- A donut franchise employee claimed national origin discrimination after her employer recurrently called her a “Crazy Egyptian.”
- An employee who was transferred to a soon-to-be eliminated position due to her age won an age-discrimination suit.
- An employee in a non-profit enterprise claimed sexual harassment when her employer made repeated sexual comments and advances toward her.
Do You Work in a Hostile Environment?
Are you experiencing harassment in the workplace? Do you feel discriminated against due to your sexual orientation, your religion, or your skin color? Perhaps you have been mistreated due to transgender issues, a pregnancy, a medical condition, or your age? Is the treatment you are receiving impacting your work environment in a negative way?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, conceivably it is time to share your experience with lawyers who are experienced in dealing with hostile work environments. Schedule your free consultation with the team at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. in Queens right away or call (347)-464-8694. You will quickly see that you are not alone in the fight for your rights.