Can I Sue for a Hostile Work Environment?

Meeting with a harassment attorney

Our Los Angeles Harassment Lawyers Explain

Harassment is a common issue in American workplaces. Each day, workers across the country face workplace harassment for their gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion or disability status. Affected workers may have legal options they could pursue against current or former employers who are responsible for the harassment. Although the term “hostile work environment” is most commonly associated with sexual harassment, it can occur with any type of harassment that targets a person belonging to a protected class.

You should speak with an employment lawyer before beginning the claims process against your current or former employer. Continue reading to learn more about California harassment laws and what constitutes a hostile work environment.

What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment?

Only certain workplaces qualify as a hostile work environment under California law. Your workplace may be a hostile work environment if:

  1. The harassment is due to a protected trait, such as your race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, disability status or veterans’ status.
  2. The harassment is pervasive or severe. A worker experiencing a hostile work environment may feel humiliated, distressed or even unsafe.

Whether workplace bullying qualifies as harassment under California or federal law depends on the circumstances. The best way to determine whether your situation qualifies as a hostile work environment is to contact an attorney.

How Do I Prove a Hostile Work Environment in California?

You should begin working with an attorney early on in the claims process. An attorney can help you obtain and protect evidence that is important to a future claim or lawsuit. Evidence is important for employment law claims. You will need evidence to prove a hostile work environment occurred. Emails, text messages, witness statements, and other documentation can help strengthen the merits of your case.

Can I Sue for HWE Harassment?

An attorney can help you determine if it would be possible to file a lawsuit against a current or former employer for hostile work environment harassment (HWE harassment). However, you may have legal options if the harassment is pervasive or severe, meaning that what occurred is not an isolated incident.

With a hostile work environment case, the guilty parties may vary. Supervisors are not the only people who are capable of creating a hostile work environment. Other non-supervisory employees may also be guilty. Clients, customers or contractors may also be responsible for creating a hostile work environment.

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to seek legal action against the parties above under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. It may be easier to hold an employer accountable when a supervisor is involved with the harassment.

Contact Our Los Angeles Harassment Attorneys for a Free Consultation

The harassment attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help you determine if it would be possible to file a lawsuit against your current or former employer. We offer free initial consultations. You can schedule a consultation with us by dialing (310) 273-3180 or by using the contact form on our site.

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