Hostile Work Environment Attorney Representing St. Petersburg And Tampa Clients
There are many things that we must all endure at work that may be unpleasant, but these do not necessarily constitute a hostile work environment. However, if someone else’s actions in the workplace prevent you from completing your assigned tasks, create a culture of fear or qualify as harassment, you may very well have a valid claim for a hostile work environment lawsuit. Experienced employment law attorney Craig Berman can help you determine what the best course of action is and help you get there.
What Constitutes A Hostile Work Environment?
Under the law, a hostile work environment is one in which employees are subjected to treatment or actions that are intimidating, hostile or offensive to reasonable people. This can encompass many behaviors, but the burden of proof is high. Minor annoyances or disputes may not qualify as creating a hostile work environment. That being said, some of the common cases attorney Berman has accepted include some of all of the following elements:
- A sexualized company culture where employees are subjected to unwanted sexual advances, offensive jokes or comments, etc.
- A culture that permits discrimination, such as remarks, jokes or insults based on race, religion, national origin, gender, sex, disability or other protected classes
- Management that uses physical force or threatens employees, creating a culture of abuse or fear
- Retaliatory treatment against an employee who reported a violation, also known as a whistleblower
Proving The Existence Of A Hostile Work Environment
Furthermore, there are some stipulations regarding the above actions that must be present in order to constitute a hostile work environment. They include:
- Protected classes: The behavior is a direct result of your protected class status, such as gender, age or race. An example would be repeated racist jokes directed at you.
- Pervasive circumstances: The inappropriate behavior is sustained, not just a one-off remark or action.
- Significant problem: The behavior has gone unchecked despite efforts to stop the abuse, and you are markedly impacted.
- Severe: The hostility has directly affected you or your work; i.e., you missed out on a promotion because you skip after-hours events due to fear of being harassed.
- Employer is aware or should be aware: You have reported the violations to someone in power at the company, such as your boss, supervisor or human resources department, or you know that the appropriate parties have witnessed the inappropriate behavior.
Getting The Help You Need
When you hire attorney Berman, he will listen to your circumstances and advise you on moving forward. Depending on the situation, he will help you file a complaint with either the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or both. If the appropriate agency doesn’t resolve the issue, Mr. Berman will initiate a lawsuit against your employer. Together, you and Mr. Berman will make things right and ensure that you get a resolution with which you are satisfied.
Berman Law Firm, P.A., provides legal counsel to clients in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties who are struggling with hostile work environment issues. Contact the St. Petersburg office today at 727-547-3316 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled employment lawyer.