Workplace Harassment Lawyer
Every employee deserves to work in an environment without having to worry about uncontrollable parts of their identity. Whether it is their racial, ethnic, or gender identity, these factors should not be bases for hostility when they clock in for work.
Should you experience or witness injustices based on these factors, you may have a valid harassment claim. Discover what workplace harassment is all and what you can do should you ever encounter it.
General Information: What Is Workplace Harassment?
It is a violation of a handful of laws, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Workplace harassment becomes unlawful when:
- You endure the offensive conduct regularly as you work.
- You determine your employer’s or co-worker’s conduct to be intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
As such, annoyances or petty slights may not constitute workplace harassment, especially if the actions were part of isolated incidents. Still, discriminatory behaviors can quietly rise to an illegal level without your knowledge. Be sure to know your rights as a worker when it comes to discrimination.
What Laws Govern Harassment in the Workplace?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers’ rights against harassment. This law criminalizes employers who discriminate against employees based on their racial identity, skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Despite this law’s existence, a 2019 Statista report mentioned how three out of five employees working in the United States have witnessed or experienced discrimination as defined in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Meanwhile, the employment rights regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) maintain that employees have the right to work in a hostile-free environment.
However, co-workers may contribute to the creation of a hostile work environment, even if the employer themselves do not condone discriminatory actions. Regardless of their views, the employer is responsible for the created environment.
You have the right to protect yourself or colleagues against discriminatory actions should you witness or experience them first-hand. In such cases, consider seeking legal representation from licensed workplace harassment lawyers.
What Does Workplace Harassment Look Like?
You may unknowingly be a victim especially if you don’t pay too much attention to your supervisor’s or colleagues’ actions toward you. Likewise, a co-worker may fail to notice when they are the target of workplace harassment. Some conduct that may constitute discrimination include:
- Offensive Jokes: Did your immediate supervisor or manager express inappropriate humor that left you feeling uncomfortable? Did they attempt to brush it off by claiming “it was just a joke”?
- Slurs: Did your colleague use a historically insensitive word to diminish your personhood? Did the person use the word against you without an established relationship?
- Epithets: Does your co-worker call you by a nonconsensual nickname? Is the nickname somehow related to your racial, sexual, or ethnic identity?
- Assaults: Are you often the target of verbal or physical abuse despite performing the tasks expected of you?
- Threats: Does your supervisor or colleague destroy your property or make violent gestures, like shaking their fists?
- Intimidation: Are your co-workers blackmailing you or resorting to violence to get you to do something?
- Ridicule: Do you have colleagues who continuously mock you for dressing or presenting a certain way?
- Insults: Did an officemate make a rude or disrespectful comment about you or something you did?
- Imagery: Does your office keep pictures or memorabilia that you find offensive against your identity or way of life?
- Sabotage: Do your colleagues purposefully interfere with your work performance to make you look bad?
If you recognize any of these instances, there may be harassment going on in your workplace. Be sure to remain vigilant, especially if you are a member of a social minority.
I’m Being Harassed at Work! What Do I Do?
Get in touch with our team as soon as you determine that you or someone you know is a victim of office discrimination. If you are interested in filing a lawsuit, our team is here to help. Our legal professionals can help you assess your situation and determine whether you have a strong case to hold against your employer for a lawsuit.
You deserve to protect yourself against discriminatory behavior and thrive in a safe environment. It will be challenging to meet your professional goals if you are thrust into a place where people disrespect you for things you cannot control. Find legal representation now.
Get Legal Representation
The Howley Law Firm has an experienced legal team standing by to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your workplace situation. We are keen and sensitive to different ways minorities can be treated poorly in a professional setting.
Our legal team is ready to share its resources and experience in navigating harassment cases in the workplace to get you the justice you deserve. Allow us to fight for your legal right to make a living without worrying about your identity. Contact our team today.
Workplace Harassment FAQs
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Workplace harassment is any unwelcome behavior or conduct based on your racial identity, skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or national origin. It can look like physical or verbal threats, unwanted advancements, or inappropriate jokes.
For conduct and behavior to constitute workplace harassment, the verbal or physical actions must be:
- Unwelcome and based on your protected status,
- subjectively abusive, and
- objectively severe and pervasive enough to create a work environment that you, as a reasonable person, would consider hostile or abusive.
Sexual harassment is the most common type of harassment in the workplace. In recent years, many working adults have determined that not enough people are sensitive to instances of sexual harassment. Accordingly, EEOC charge data revealed a total of 98,411 sexual harassment charges between 2018 and 2021.