The rights of workers are protected under the constitution. Over the years, there have been continuous improvements when it comes to policies that will protect workers and their welfare. However, there are so many things that can happen at work. From unreasonably strict boss to other hostilities, many would ask, can you sue for hostile work environment?
Yes, you can sue for hostile environment but before arriving to that point, it is important to understand what constitutes a hostile work environment. Bosses at work would often do different things that can stress out employees. But there are instances where such actions and behaviors would cross the line to the point of hostility. These scenarios backed with lack of legal knowledge can result to complaints coming from employees. If you belong to the aggrieved party, it helps that you know what you can do especially in the legal sense to protect your rights and to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Many would complain about their current work situation thinking that it is a hostile environment. But there are legal requirements that would constitute what a hosting work environment is. Here are the legal requirements:
There’s a discrimination pertaining to race, religion, age or disability.
- The action or behavior must last for quite long and it should not be just about just finding something that you feel annoyed to.
- The hostile actions must also be pervasive and severe to the point that it already affects the employee’s work. Another problem where hostile environment occurs is when there is an impediment to the career progress of the employee.
- If you have already told your human resources department or employer about the matter and still failed to act upon it, the employer can actually be held liable.
How to Sue an Employer
Experiencing stress and other problems at work is normal for every employee. But when you start to experience being harassed, threatened or discriminated in your workplace, it results to hostility which means that you can press for legal charges. How to go about the legal process?
Prior to finally deciding as to whether you will take legal action, it always helps that you talk with the person first. In this case, if it is your boss, you can always find a way to air your grievances. But if it all fails then the next move is to really decide to pursue with your complaint. In filing for a complaint, you need to file it at the Equal Opportunity Commission. Go to the office and bring along with you information and even the list of witnesses. Keep in mind that you need to file the complaint within a specific period of time in this case 180 days from the time the incident happened.
You will receive notification once the field office has finished their investigation to see if you will proceed with the charges, request mediation or dismiss the case. They are the ones who can also tell if you indeed have the right to sue.
If you should pursue the complaint then the next step is to find an attorney who can help you win your case. You may want to ask your family and friends for any recommendation. Have a list of candidates and from there you can call for an appointment. It is important that you schedule the meeting to discuss the details of your case. Take along with you all of the information and the notification from the EEOC. Hire a lawyer who you know you can trust and can help you in winning your case. Look at the profile, experience and other important information to help you in choosing the best candidate.
Experiencing problems at work is normal and it varies greatly. However, if you feel like you are being harassed, violated and threatened then in that case, you will have to stand up for your rights. If you feel like it is a hostile work environment and it is negatively affecting you as a person and your career progress, you may want to considering filing for a formal complaint.