If you are thinking about hiring a lawyer to represent you in a hostile work environment lawsuit, you’ve got to first understand what exactly a hostile work environment is.
The basic definition of a hostile work environment is one where as an employee, your boss or any other person in your work place treats you in a way that makes working or advancing your career difficult.
This could be in form of harassment, intimidation or oppression.
This is what you should take in consideration if you think you need to file a lawsuit regarding hostile working environment.
Requirements for Legal Action against Hostile Work Environment
Here is what the law considers while determining whether a hostile working environment lawsuit is valid:
If the said behavior is deliberately targeted against an individual on sexual, racial, gender, age, disability or religious grounds.
If a victim believes that he/she has to accept or allow the said behavior for them to retain their job.
If the said behavior is bad enough to interfere with work activities or career progression.
If the employer is aware of the complaints but has done nothing to ensure it stops.
Before Moving to Court
First approach the offending employee or workmate and let them know that what they’re doing is affecting you negatively. Ask them to stop doing it, especially if it is intentional.
After putting them on notice, the concerned person might choose to stop but in some cases, they might still persist. If he/she does, go a step further and report the matter to the manager in charge, your boss, or the human resource department.
You might also want to tell it to other friendly associates at the workplace. This will help you build a good evidence base should you find it necessary to take legal action.
If the hostility is still coming at this point, it is probably time to take the next step. It might be a bold step, but hiring a hostile work environment lawyer is a good move if sanity is to be brought back to a notorious work environment.
Hostile work environment lawyers often just have to talk to a few people at your office about specific labor laws that protect you against hostility to get the job done.
Please remember that hostile lawyers may not be of great help if you did not first complain to the workplace management about the hostile work environment.
On the other hand, if the hostility is persistent because the perpetrator is somewhat high-profile, a good lawyer will help in securing strict liability in your case.