Hostile Work Environment Lawyers in Charlotte, Protecting Employee Rights in the Workplace
Even if you enjoy going to work and spending time with your co-workers, you still expect a semblance of professionalism at your place of employment. Unfortunately, the improper actions of others can sometimes interfere with this. If your ability to do your job has become compromised due to actions that are bigoted, sexually explicit, or otherwise inappropriate, a hostile work environment lawyer in Charlotte may be able to help.
At Harman Law, our employment attorneys strive to help our clients work in an atmosphere that’s free of intimidation, abuse, and hostile actions. Unfortunately, the majority of improper actions in the workplace go unreported. This gives individuals who are acting inappropriately very little motivation to stop. If you’re unsure of what to do next, however, our Charlotte hostile work environment attorneys are ready to help.
What Is a Hostile Work Environment?
There are various laws that offer protections for employees in the workplace. These include the Civil Rights Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Equal Pay Act. When defining a hostile work environment, however, we typically look toward the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Such an environment is created when harassment outlawed by the EEOC is allowed to exist in the workplace.
A hostile work environment manifests when on-the-job harassment reaches a level that’s both inescapable and significant enough to create an atmosphere that’s either abusive, hostile, or intimidating. This can occur due to harassment on the part of an employer, but such conditions can also be cultivated when management allows inappropriate behaviors to continue and even prosper.
What Are Examples of a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment can exist for a variety of reasons. This is why the legalities regarding this issue fall under so many separate statutes — involving both state and federal law. Because it can sometimes be difficult to recognize when actions rise to the level of harassment or other hostile behaviors, it’s often helpful to consider examples.
These types of behaviors include:
- Using racial epithets or making racially-insensitive jokes
- Asking a pregnant co-worker prying questions about her sex life
- Insulting someone for their religion or degrading their religious practices
- Making sexual advances toward employees or asking explicit questions
- Joking about a co-worker’s disability
- Insulting someone due to physical or mental issues
- Making suggestive, insulting, or otherwise inappropriate comments regarding a co-worker’s appearance
While it may seem cliché to say, these really are just the “tip of the iceberg.” You deserve to work in an environment free of these actions. You shouldn’t have to dread going into the office every day, and if reporting these issues has resulted in no action — or worse, retaliatory actions against you — then you need to speak with a hostile work environment lawyer in Charlotte immediately.
At Harman Law, we can help you decide the best way to handle your situation.
Can You Recover Damages for Workplace Harassment?
If harassment in your workplace has made it difficult to do your job, it may be possible to recover damages. In most cases, you’ll need to first file a complaint with the EEOC. It’s wise to have a Charlotte hostile work environment lawyer on your side during this process — because the success of this complaint will literally dictate whether you’re allowed to file a lawsuit in court. If approved, you can move forward with your claim.
There are various damages you may be entitled to if your rights have been violated. These could include, among others:
- Back pay if you had to quit over harassment or were fired for reporting
- Future lost wages if returning to your prior position is not appropriate
- Any medical costs for physical injuries or emotional distress caused by harassment
- Emotional distress and pain and suffering
- Any legal costs or attorney fees incurred during your claim
Any of these damages may be possible if you were exposed to a hostile work environment. Your employer could also face additional legal problems if they retaliated against you for reporting inappropriate behavior. However, they will also likely try to claim that they made good faith efforts to end such behavior and that you failed to take advantage of preventative or corrective resources made available by your employer.
You can expect the other side to push back, so make sure you have a Charlotte employment rights attorney on your side.
Contact a Hostile Work Environment Lawyer in Charlotte Today
Whether you’ve been exposed to a hostile work environment, ignored after reporting harassment, or retaliated against for such reports, having a Charlotte employment attorney on your side can prove invaluable. It can sometimes be difficult to know how to respond to these situations — especially if you can’t afford to lose your job. Fortunately, employees who are being forced to work in a hostile work environment have the law on their side.
At Harman Law, our team of legal professionals has served the citizens of North Carolina for years. We’re committed to protecting the employee rights of our clients, and we’re ready to take every legal measure necessary to make this a reality. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a confidential consultation. A hostile work environment lawyer in Charlotte can help you better understand your legal rights and options.