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Los Angeles Hostile Work Environment Attorneys

Did you know that pre-pandemic, there were more than 131 million full-time employees in the United States? That’s a lot of opportunity for individuals to provide for their families and work in a capacity that helps them earn a living. Unfortunately, that also leaves a lot of room for problems to arise. One issue that has been present over the years, but doesn’t always take the spotlight, is hostile work environments. Far too often, individuals must go to work each day to try and earn an income to provide for their family, only to be met with a workplace riddled with problems and potentially dangerous situations. 

It’s important to know, though, that there are laws in California that help protect employees from experiencing a hostile work environment. You should be able to earn an income without having to worry about someone making your workplace much more difficult. In some situations, a hostile work environment can cause significant distractions and physical harm. Most often, though, it’s the mental impact you may experience that stems from a hostile work environment that affects you the most. 

If you find yourself in a hostile work environment, know that Ozeran Law is here for you. We go above and beyond to help you understand how California laws protect you as an employee. We are experienced Los Angeles hostile work environment attorneys, and we’re committed to safeguarding you from the effects of a challenging work condition. Below, we’ll explain the California work environment laws, your rights to legal recourse, the actions that constitute a hostile work environment case, and what happens if you face a hostile work environment or you are fired for reporting a hostile work environment..

Hostile Work Environment California Laws

California law defines a hostile work environment as any situation in which there is inappropriate behavior in the workplace that creates a severe physical or mental abusive work atmosphere. A hostile work environment occurs in more than one way, and it can involve situations, such as the following:

  • A supervisor creates a hostile work environment by putting you in a difficult working condition, making sexual advances, or making offensive jokes. 
  • A co-worker makes a work environment hostile when he or she attacks another worker, or they insult or intimidate them.
  • A third-party vendor who is contracted with your company takes part in insulting you or ridiculing you in your workplace.

One common cause of a hostile work environment is harassment, which can occur in numerous ways. Harassment can be physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual, depending on the situation. California laws protect various characteristics from harassment, including a person’s race, religion, color, nationality, heritage, disability, illness, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, and more. These protected characteristics mean that an employer cannot create a hostile work environment because of these classes.

One of the most beneficial situations regarding California hostile work environment laws is the fact that you can take legal action against an employer who creates a hostile work environment, permits a hostile work environment, or knows about a hostile work environment but does nothing to stop it. Your legal rights are protected, but it’s best to speak with a lawyer who can help you fully understand hostile work environment laws and how they work in California. Ozeran's hostile work environment attorneys in Los Angeles can help you understand what dictates if you have a case and what to do to move forward.

Do I Have a Hostile Work Environment Case?

While the legal matters concerning a hostile work environment case can vary by each specific situation, before you can file a case or a lawsuit, you should recognize what a hostile work environment looks like. Throughout the entire process, you should recognize some of the signs that may identify you work in a hostile environment. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know when they’ve been involved in a situation that causes interference with work performance.

Even the smallest situation of harassment, offensive jokes, insults, and more can be considered a hostile work environment. Your employer or co-workers may try to say it was a “little ribbing” and it’s something that everyone does. However, if you encounter any situation where you feel uncomfortable in your own workplace, you may have the right to file a claim for a hostile work environment to pursue compensation. Speaking with a lawyer can give you a better idea of if you have a case and what kind of compensation you may be able to recover.

  • If you have a case, a lawyer can work with you and explain the various benefits you may recover if your employer makes it difficult for you to complete your job because of a hostile work environment. There are multiple factors that go into determining if you have a case, including the following aspects: 
  • Who was it that caused the hostile work environment?
  • Did your employer know about the hostile work environment and fail to prevent it?
  • Did the action cause you to leave your job or make it difficult for you to complete your daily tasks?
  • Did you suffer mental or physical harm because of the hostile work environment?
  • Did the action against you cause you to suffer financial losses or emotional trauma? 

At Ozeran Law, our Los Angeles work harassment attorneys can guide you through the legal process if you experience problems in a workplace. We’ll fight for every bit of compensation you deserve.

Types of Offensive Behavior in Hostile Work Environment Cases

It’s unfortunate, but offensive behavior comes in many different forms. Even more, they all lead to you having a difficult time completing the day to day tasks of your job. Far too often, employees face a hostile work environment because of the following situations: 

  • Offensive jokes: This can include anything from joking about someone’s appearance or making an inappropriate joke in front of someone who is not comfortable. 
  • Slurs: These are terms used to make fun of someone because of race, sexual orientation, gender, or any other condition. This is a form of harassment and may constitute a hostile work environment. 
  • Epithets or name-calling: Name calling may seem innocent to some, but it can cause some individuals to experience mental trauma and it should never be tolerated in the workplace.
  • Physical assaults or threats: Physically attacking someone does not have to be physical fighting. It can also involve situations such as pushing, tripping, or shoving. Even a threat of physical assault is a hostile work environment.
  • Intimidation: When someone intimidates you into a fearful situation, this is also a hostile work environment. A threat of physical violence or threat of job termination can be used as an intimidation tactic. 
  • Ridicule: If someone has ridiculed you for a characteristic of yours, the way you look, your job performance, or any other situation, it is a hostile work environment.
  • Insults: Any insult, even if they seem minor, can make someone feel uncomfortable in their own workplace. This situation can make it emotionally traumatizing for you.
  • Offensive objects or pictures: Sharing offensive objects or pictures can be considered harassment. Even when people feel their work environment is a certain way, it should never happen.

One of the most dangerous situations in a hostile work environment case is the possibility of sexual harassment. This is easily one of the most common matters of a hostile work environment case. Sexual harassment can arise in any situation when someone makes unwanted advances, tries to exchange job opportunities for sexual favors, or makes inappropriate jokes. 

Fired After Filing a Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit?

One of the most unfortunate situations you may encounter is your employer firing you after you file a lawsuit for a hostile work environment. Your employer may be unhappy about the unwanted attention this type of claim can bring to a business. However, you should know that you may have legal options available to you should you be fired because you file a hostile work environment lawsuit. Even more, you may have additional actions available beyond the hostile work environment claim to pursue the compensation you deserve. 

If your employer tries to fire you, it may be considered retaliation, and this is an illegal action. You can file a lawsuit against your employer, or ex-employer, should you lose a job because of retaliation. The compensation you may recover goes beyond the income you lost or would have earned. You may also receive compensation for any pain and suffering, or mental anguish, that you experience because of the retaliation. For instance, if you are unable to pay a car note and lose your vehicle because your employer fired you for reporting a hostile work environment, this may factor into your lawsuit.

If you work with our Los Angeles harassment attorneys, you have someone on your side who knows what the laws are and how retaliation can play a role in your pursuit for compensation. If you are able to file a lawsuit, you can include significant losses in your claim to show just how much your life has been affected due to your employer’s actions, and this can factor in how much you may recover.

What to Do if Your Work Environment is Hostile

If you find yourself in a hostile work environment, there are numerous steps that you can take to safeguard your rights. The following steps give you the strongest chance possible to pursue a successful claim. Here are some things you can do if you experience a hostile work environment:

  • Report the incident: If your situation involved another worker, you want to tell your supervisor. If it involves your supervisor or employer, there are various agencies that help workers protect their rights.
  • Document your situation: Make sure you document the incidents that arise so you can show evidence of the hostile work environment. If you suffer physical abuse, take photos of your visible injuries to show when reporting the incident. 
  • Hire a lawyer: While you can report the hostile workplace on your own, you want to work with a lawyer to determine your full legal rights to move forward. Working with a lawyer gives you a strong outlook regarding how you can hold your employer accountable and pursue compensation for what happened to you. 

We know that many people hesitate when reporting a hostile work environment because they are worried the treatment will get worse or they’ll lose their jobs. You should know, though, that California law helps to protect you from retaliation. Having a lawyer to stand by your side prevents you from further mistreatment, and if you are fired for reporting a hostile work environment but you want to return to your position, legal action may allow you to seek reinstatement.

Contact a Hostile Work Environment Attorney

Nobody should ever have to endure a hostile work environment. When you need to provide for your family and want to earn a living, you need to do everything to ensure you are in a safe workplace for your physical and mental well-being. When your employer or another worker at your company makes you uncomfortable, threatens you, or otherwise creates a hostile work environment, you have rights.

At Ozeran Law, we’re proud to provide the highest quality legal counsel possible in a difficult situation. We fight for our clients, going above and beyond because we want you to feel peace of mind following a problem involving a hostile work environment. We make it a point to determine all options you have to move forward and safeguard your future, even if it means pursuing justice and compensation through complex litigation.

We are California’s hostile work environment attorneys, and we know the most effective ways to succeed in your claim. Let us be your voice and put your best interests first. We focus on all legal complexities while you figure out what to do next. Don’t worry, our team will be here to answer every question and address every concern you have, giving you peace of mind every step of the way. 

Call Ozeran Law for the tenacious representation you need.