Can I Be Fired for Filing a Hostile Work Environment Claim with Human Resources?
Hostile work environments can be incredibly challenging to overcome. From being berated on a regular basis, to experiencing constant intimidation, those who experience this kind of harassment have every right to file a hostile work environment claim against their employer. However, in some cases, an employer will terminate an employee before the claim can even go through. If this is the case, it is in your best interest to seek the legal guidance of a skilled hostile work environment attorney to help fight for your rights as a worker. At California Employment Attorneys Group our well versed hostile work environment attorneys can guide you through the process of building your case, filing your claim, and reaching a favorable outcome for your case. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to reach out to our law offices for a free consultation from one of our top-rated legal advisors.
Hostile Work Environments And What You Can Do
Hostile work environments typically involve the intimidation and harassment of a worker from another worker, employer, or boss. Many who experience hostile work environments often feel trapped in their situation, without too many avenues of escape. Usually, victims of hostile work environments either continue to endure further harassment or quit their job, which often ruins any chance of receiving unemployment benefits. Fortunately, in some instances, you can file a claim against your employer for creating and facilitating a hostile work environment. Doing so can be somewhat challenging, however, as there are some steps involved and they require that you endure continued mistreatment before filing your claim.
Unfortunately, victims of hostile work environments can only sue their employer if that employer somehow breached state and federal law which prohibits any form of discrimination. Discrimination is defined as the mistreatment of another individual based on their race, color, sexual orientation, religious background, cultural background, or personal characteristics. So, unfortunately, if your employer is rude to you and harasses you but discrimination is not at play you cannot file a lawsuit against them. However, you can still resolve the situation through hostile work environments claim with your company’s HR or human resources department. HR departments are put in place to resolve issues like workplace hostility before they can reach a courtroom.
As mentioned prior filing a claim for hostile work environments can be particularly challenging as there is a multitude of steps involved in bringing your claim forward. Any misstep in the process can result in your case being dismissed completely. Listed below are the steps an attorney will recommend you follow in bringing your claim forward against your employer:
- Contact an HR Representative: The first thing you should do is report every incident of abuse to your company’s Human Resources department. These departments are put in place to fight for the rights of their employees and resolve issues of this nature. Often, cases will be resolved at this point as a result of the actions of an HR representative. By reporting your incidents, you not only document the harassment, but you can also show a jury that you exhausted all options of solution before relying on legal action.
- Collect any and all Evidence: If your HR department fails to remedy the issue, you may need to file a report with either a state or federal anti-discrimination agency. Before you do so, you should gather any and all evidence you need to support your claims. This evidence can include things like photographs, video footage, or audio recordings of incidents of harassment; text messages, phone calls, emails, or other points of contact shared between you and your employer or; eyewitness testimonies from co-workers, customers, or even family members that back up your claims. At this point, you should consult a workplace bullying and abuse attorney in Modesto if you haven’t already.
- File a Report With an Anti-Discrimination Agency: Before you can file a lawsuit against your employer, you must file a report with either the federally run Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state-run agency. These agencies will review your case, and either give you the approval to sue or reject your right to sue an employer. During this period, it is highly recommended that you keep a low-profile at work as you do not want to give your employer any evidence to later dispute your claims in court.
- Move To Court Or Resolve: If the anti-discrimination agency approved your case, you and your attorney would receive a ‘right-to-sue,’ letter, giving you the go-ahead to take your case to court. However, at this point, many cases settle as companies would rather settle a case than expend the exuberant legal fees to fight the case in court. It is up to you whether you want to take your case to court or not, and before making a choice, it is highly recommended that you reach out to your Spanish speaking lawyer for advice on the best course of action.
Unfortunately, being fired after filing a hostile work environment case with the EEOC, or after suing your employer can occur. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to sue your employer for wrongful termination further.
Being Terminated After Filing A Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Against Your Employer
Unfortunately, if discrimination is not present in your case, it is unlikely you’ll be able to sue your employer for terminating you. Almost all employers across the United States, hire ‘at-will’ employees, meaning that they can fire a worker at any point for any reason, as long as it is not under the basis of discrimination. There are no laws that directly prohibit bullying or harassment at the workplace, and as such being fired for it isn’t illegal either. However, if you are terminated at work after filing a hostile work environment claim because they discriminated against you, you may be able to sue your employer for the damages more effectively. For your reference, we’ve included some essential elements involved in hostile work environment discrimination cases:
- The actions of your employer must show, in some way, that they are discriminating against you based on your religion, disability, race, color, or age.
- Your employer’s behavior and actions must last for an extended period. As such you cannot sue your employer for one off-handed comment. Any and all incidents where your employer abused you and bullied you should be recorded and filed with your company’s HR department.
- If your company does nothing or little to nothing to remedy the issue after repeated reports of harassment, you can move forward with legal action against your employer.
- The actions of your employer must be severe and consistent enough to disrupt your ability to fulfill the requirements of the job, by hindering your day-to-day work.
Regardless in the specifics of your case, if you have been wrongly terminated after filing a hostile work environment claim for being discriminated against it is in your best interest that you seek legal representation from a skilled attorney to guide you through the process. Having the right attorney on your side can make the difference between reaching a favorable settlement for your case and having your case dismissed entirely.
How California Employment Attorneys Group Can Help
If you or a loved one were terminated from your job after filing a hostile work environment lawsuit or claim against your employer, you might be able to seek representation from a well-versed hostile work environment attorney to help you earn compensation for your damages. At California Employment Attorneys Group our skilled attorneys are committed to ensuring all of our clients receive all of the resources they need to earn the compensation they deserve. Victims who have suffered from wrongful termination after filing a hostile work environments claim can contact our law offices to learn more about how to seek compensation for your damages. While our legal team is based in Los Angeles, our attorneys also practice in Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Orange County, Riverside, Fresno, and throughout the state of California.
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Other attorneys will sign you up for their firm but will disappear once your name is on the paper as they are busy signing up more cases. In these instances, their business is based more on volume and will attempt to sign up as many cases as possible. In turn, they will spend less time on cases resulting in severely reduced settlements. Our firm will not treat you like a number. We will be in communication with you throughout our lawsuit and will treat you like family. So if you already have an attorney don’t worry, we’ll give you a second review of your case 100% free of charge.
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If you contact our law offices today, we can walk you through the complicated process of filing your claim completely free of charge. As a show this commitment to you and your case we offer our clients the benefits of a zero fee guarantee policy. Under our zero fee policy, all clients don’t pay for our services until their case is won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Please, feel free to give us a call, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation.