What Is the Average Case Value of a Hostile Work Environment?
Are you experiencing, or have experienced a hostile work environment? Has hostility at work led to things like emotional distress, early termination, or even mental trauma? If you can answer yes to any of this, you may be able to file a hostile workplace lawsuit against your employer for creating and facilitating a hostile environment at work. However, the process of taking legal action against your employer for creating a hostile work environment can be incredibly challenging. For this reason, it is in your best interest to seek guidance from an attorney well versed on hostile work environment cases. Many who file these suits are often unsure of how much money they can get if they sue their employer. Fortunately, our attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can help point you in the right direction. Our firm can not only help determine how much you can receive your damages, but we can also represent you and your case in court. 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 well-versed legal advisors.
Hostile Work Environments
Hostile work environments typically involve repeated abuse and harassment committed by an employer or coworker. These hostile environments can include things like shouting, name-calling, unfavorable treatment, and being denied promotions. While hostile work environments can be damaging to an individual’s confidence and psyche, not all forms of workplace hostility can justify legal action. In the state of California, you can only sue for a hostile work environment if one of the two following elements are present in your case:
- The hostility shown by your employer involved discrimination or;
- The employer’s hostile and abusive actions breached some formerly agreed to contract between you and the employer.
That is not to say that you can receive some resolution after experiencing hostility at work. At most places of work, employees can rely on their Human Resource department to remedy issues of workplace hostility. HR departments, and companies, in general, don’t typically want to dispute workplace hostility cases, and would rather resolve them without taking them to court. However, this is not always the case, and victims must take further action to resolve their complaints.
When filing a hostile workplace lawsuit for discrimination, there are specific steps you should take to ensure that your case reaches a satisfactory resolution. These critical steps are bulleted below for your reference:
- Contact A 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 A 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.
When individuals file lawsuits for hostile work environments, they are often left in the dark in regards to the eventual value of their case. In all cases, the potential settlement value will depend on the aspects of the case, and the damages which the victim had to endure as a result of the defendant’s actions. While you may be able to calculate these damages alone, the best way to find a potential settlement estimate is to seek the assistance of a skilled hostile workplace attorney to guide you in the right direction.
How Much Is My Hostile Environment Suit Worth?
Often when clients come into our law firm seeking representation for their hostile workplace lawsuit, they will ask our attorneys: how much money they can receive if they sue their employer for their actions or behavior. Usually, these clients already have legal representation yet are unsatisfied with the service they have been provided thus far. Fortunately, our legal advisors at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group provide all the resources our clients require to resolve their case regardless if they already have an attorney or not.
Calculating the settlement value of a hostile work environment lawsuit can be a little tricky as there are some factors at play here. Typically, how much you can receive will depend on how you decide to settle your case. For example, if you settle your case with an HR department representative early on there is a good chance that this settlement will be far lower than a settlement offered at the end of a lawsuit. For this reason, it is challenging to calculate an accurate generalization or average value of a hostile work environment claim. That is not to say that calculating the value of your potential settlement is impossible, however. As with calculating the possible settlement of any case, you must add all the damages that you endured. Damages are usually divided into three categories: monetary damages, nonmonetary damages, and punitive damages.
Monetary damages usually make up the most substantial chunk of the rewardable damages. This is the case as monetary damages have a universal financial value and can be more easily calculated. Listed below are some of the factors involved in calculating monetary damages:
- Medical Expenses: These are the costs that a victim must endure for the hospitalization of the initial injury and any further treatment needed in the future because of this injury. These expenses often make up a significant portion of a settlement value.
- Loss of Wages: These compensatory damages meant to reimburse the victim for any wages lost from the injuries. This amount can be determined through a thorough examination of the victim’s salary history and often includes sick and vacation time.
- Loss of Potential Future Wages: Sometimes injuries can be so severe that the victim may lose the ability to perform at the same level they had before their injuries. To determine this amount, a complicated formula is used that involves the examination of the victim’s projected earnings and the impact that the damages may have had on the victim’s ability to find and perform future work.
Nonmonetary damages are often a little more difficult to calculate as they don’t usually have a discernable monetary value. Nonmonetary damages will usually require the help of an attorney to calculate, and can change drastically once they are being discussed in court. Some components that are calculated in nonmonetary damages are bulleted as follows:
- Pain and suffering: This damage is compensated to a victim based on the pain and suffering they endured from their injuries. This amount is often calculated by the use of a pain multiplier that has the victim identify their level of pain on a scale of one to ten.
- Emotional Distress: This form of compensation is offered to victims that have experienced any emotional trauma suffered due to the injuries. The compensable amount of emotional distress often varies from state to state.
- Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium is often added to the value of your case when the injuries are so severe that the victim’s loved ones are deprived of a normal loving relationship and companionship
Lastly, are punitive damages. Punitive damages, usually won’t be added to the value of a case if you are settling with an HR representative. This is because punitive damages are added to the value of a case to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. In some cases, other attorneys will settle a case without arguing for punitive damages as they are often difficult to make a case for. This is not the case for our attorneys at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group. Our hostile workplace attorneys are committed to ensuring that you receive all the damages that you demand.
About California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group
The settlement for a hostile work environment case will typically cover for damages like a loss of wages, a potential loss of future wages, emotional distress, and in some rare instances, medical expenses billed for treating injuries inflicted by an abusive employer. Our attorneys will make sure that you receive the settlement amounts you deserve for your hostile work environment case. At California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group, our hostile workplace attorneys are well-versed in the rights of workers in the state of California and are committed to ensuring our clients receive the most out of their settlement payout. If you file a claim with our law firm, you may find some if not all of the following damages compensable to you:
- All of you medical and hospitalization costs
- All of your future medical care and treatment
- A loss of income and loss of future earnings due to long-term recovery or permanent disability due to the accident
- Compensable economic damages include loss of property or damaged property.
- Compensable non-economic damages include emotional distress, trauma, PTSD resulting from the accident, pain and suffering and anxiety.
While our law firm is based near Tulare, our attorneys also practice in Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Orange County, Riverside, Fresno, and throughout the state of California.
Free Second Opinions
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 for your damages.