San Diego Attorney to File Hostile Workplace Environment Lawsuit
Employers must do all they can to create a safe and free work environment where the employees do not feel threatened in any way shape or form. When working conditions reach a point wherein the environment of the facility is considered unwelcome or discriminatory and are severe or pervasive throughout the company that it physically or emotionally alters the conditions of a victim’s employment, that space is considered to be a hostile work environment. When a hostile work environment is created, employers can be liable for the negative effects it has on the employees. For example, a Latino/a worker is constantly bombarded with racial taunts and slurs by their non-Latin coworkers. This worker would be able to file a lawsuit against their employer.
For some Spanish-speaking residents of San Diego, finding legal assistance can be difficult because Spanish may be the only language they speak well. In order to best find legal assistance, they require a lawyer that speaks Spanish. When it comes to their case involving hostile work, they need experienced Spanish-speaking attorneys to sue their employer for a hostile work environment. Our California law firm has Spanish-speaking attorneys can sue your boss and help you file the right hostile workplace environment lawsuit in California.
If you don’t speak English, you can contact our Spanish-speaking employment attorneys. We will be able to help you throughout the entire legal process, all in Spanish. We often get asked questions regarding how the legal process will proceed, and we are happy to answer any and all questions to our clients. Other examples of questions that we get are as followed:
- Can I sue my employer for creating a hostile work environment?
- Where can I find a Spanish-speaking hostile work environment attorney?
- Which law firm can offer a San Diego attorney who can speak Spanish with experience in hostile work environment cases?
What Is Considered Work Environment?
Hostile work environments in the workplace are created when unwelcome comments or conduct based on gender, race, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, or other legally protected characteristic unreasonably inhibit or interfere with an employee’s performance at work or create an intimidating or offensive work environment for the employee who is being harassed. A hostile work environment is considered a form of harassment and so employees can then sue employers on the basis of harassment.
It is considered harassment because this can not only affect and diminish an employee’s productivity at work, but it can severely lower a worker’s self-esteem both in and out of the workplace.
Hostile work environments are created when anyone in the workplace harasses another person. Hostile work environments are not limited to employers. They can come from anyone, including a coworker, supervisor, manager, client, vendor, visitor, etc. In order for a hostile work environment to be considered unlawful harassment, the following conditions must be met:
- When the offensive harassment must be endured and becomes a prerequisite to continue your employment at the company;
- The conduct is severe enough that a reasonable person would consider the behavior as intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Additionally, if an employer’s hostile actions result in a perturbation that affects an employee’s salary or status, it is considered workplace harassment.
The victim of a hostile work environment extends beyond the initial victim. Other employees who become impacted by the hostile work environment (by seeing it or viewing it) are also considered victims. They, too, could find the hostility intimidating and so it might affect their overall work performance and mental health. If others do become affected by the hostile work environment, they may have claims to a lawsuit.
Examples of a Hostile Work Environment
Harassment in the workplace can take many shapes, but no matter the façade the goal is to dehumanize the victim. Harassers often make offensive jokes, call victims names and slurs, threaten employees, ridicule others, show harming photographs, or impede another person’s work productivity.
A hostile work environment might be based on race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
For example, a woman is often harassed because of her sex by some of the men in the workplace. After she brings up the issue to her employer, it is insinuated that if she does not tolerate the “jokes” her employment may not continue. Employers cannot force an employee to tolerate the hostile behavior and must do everything in their power to deter the hostile environment. (Note: Even if the harassers claim, “It was just a joke,” as an excuse for their irresponsible and deplorable behavior, it does not excuse them; it is still considered harassment.)
For instance, a respectable client is coming in to visit the company. A prominent employee, a Latino man, plays a big role on that account and so is invited to the meeting. Upon seeing the Latino, the client insists that the meeting would run smoother “without his kind.” The employer agrees and uninvites the Latino man. This affects the Latino’s mental health, and so he has the right to file a lawsuit against his employer.
How to File a Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit
In order to file a hostile work environment lawsuit, you first have to file a charge with a government agency that handles unequal employment claims. There are two available to you: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal division, and the Department of the Fair and Equal Housing (DFEH), the state division. You have the option to submit to either agency; your rights will be protected to the fullest extent of the law.
When you file a charge to either employment government agency, an identical copy will be sent to the other agency. For example, if you file your charge with the DFEH, a copy of your charge will be sent to the EEOC. This practice is known as dual-filing and serves two primary purposes. The first being it deters any agency to file your case twice, which wastes time for everyone. The second purpose is to protect your rights under the full extent of the law.
There is a statute of limitations that exists to file charges with the employment agency. A statute of limitations is the tie limit during which you must file your charge. If you do not file your lawsuit within this time, your case will be thrown out. Think of the statute of limitations as an expiration date. Once you pass it, it is thrown out. Most crimes have a statute of limitations.
You have 180 days to file a charge from the day of the incident; if the harassment, or hostile work environment, is an ongoing problem, you have 180 days to file the charge with the employment government agency. If, however, the state protects employees under the same law, then the statute of limitations increases from 180 days to 300 days. For example, a hostile work environment – which is a form of harassment – is unlawful under federal law. In the state of California, it, too, is illegal to harass employees. And so because it is against the law to harass employee under both state and federal law, the statute of limitations increases from 180 days to 300 days.
Once the agency investigates your charge, you will receive a letter stating they either approved or denied your claim. You then have 90 days, from the day you receive the letter to take your employer to court.
California Employment Attorneys Group
Our Spanish-speaking attorneys will fight for your rights and will not rest until you have been compensation for your damages. We offer free legal consultation to all of our clients. Free legal consultation gives you the opportunity to sit down with one of our attorneys and explain the details of your case, free of charge. Our attorneys will sit down with you and answer any questions you may have regarding your potential lawsuit. This comes to you at no cost, nor financial obligation.
Additionally, we offer the zero-fee guarantee. This means that from the day you hire us as your counsel, we will not charge you until we win your case and get you the compensation you deserve. If we are unable to prove your case, then we will not charge you.
Contact our law firm today to see what we can do for you.