Statute of Limitations in Orange County to File a Hostile Workplace Environment Lawsuit
Hostile workplace environments can inflict a significant amount of stress and trauma on those forced to work in them. Often, workers who are experiencing hostility, abuse, or harassment at work are left in the dark in regards to their legal rights. As a result, victims of hostile and intimidating work environments are pressured to either quit due to the abuse, or continue to work in this unsatisfactory environment. Fortunately, victims of hostile work environments may be able to sue their boss or employer with the help of an attorney with expertise in hostile workplace environment cases. If you or a loved one have experienced hostility at work in Irvine, or the greater Orange County area, our Orange County hostile workplace lawyers at California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group can help. Our Irvine and Orange County lawyers can guide you through the often difficult process of filing a hostile workplace environment lawsuit in California. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to reach out to our Orange County law firm for a free consultation from one of our well-versed legal advisors.
Hostile Work Environments in Irvine and the Greater Orange County Area
Hostile work environments can arise in the city of Irvine and the greater Orange County, just as commonly as they can throughout the state of California. Those experience this kind of harassment at work are often left without very many avenues of escape or resolution. The process of filing a claim against an employer is often unknown to many employees, and as such, they often feel as though their best bet is to either quit their job in the hopes of receiving unemployment or suffering through continued abuse. Fortunately, for victims of hostile work environments, there are plenty of options of solution.
Irvine is a city located in Southern California and is one of the largest in the greater Orange County area. Founded in the 1960s, the city has boomed to support a population numbering approximately around 258,000 people based on a 2016 census. The city is also home to many prestigious universities and colleges some of those being, the University of California Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, and Irvine Valley College.
Unfortunately, individuals can suffer from hostile work environments in Irvine, just as easily as they can anywhere else. A hostile work environment is often characterized as an intimidating workplace atmosphere that includes things like shouting, harassment, and unfair treatment. Hostile work environments can be incredibly difficult to overcome, however, with the assistance of an attorney in Irvine well-versed on California law regarding hostile work environments you could find a resolution to your case.
Can I Sue My Employer For Facilitating or Creating A Hostile Work Environment?
Usually, clients hoping to file a workplace bullying and abuse lawsuit against their employer are often unaware of whether or not they can sue an employer for harassment. Our attorneys experienced in the rights of employees in Irvine and throughout Orange County often tell these clients, yes, they can sue an employer; however, there are some stipulations to doing so. To file a hostile work environment lawsuit in the state of California, one of two things must be 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.
To put it simply, if your employer simply shouts at you and makes off-handed remarks, you cannot sue your employer. In these instances, your best hope is to file a report with your company’s HR department which is put in place to resolve issues like non-discriminatory workplace harassment.
In the state of California, discrimination is defined as the unfair treatment of an individual based on their race, color, sexual orientation, or personal characteristic. State and federal laws make it, so that discriminatory workplace harassment is illegal, and as such your employer could be sued for such behavior. However, when filing a hostile job environment lawsuit against your employer or coworker, the following must be present in your case:
- 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 created a hostile work environment 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.
As stated prior, if your employer’s behavior or actions is resulting in a break of employer-employee contract, you may be able to file a hostile work environment lawsuit against your employer for doing so. It is important to note that these cases are far from universal, and it is probably in your best interest to seek guidance from an Orange County attorney with experience in hostile work environment cases and contract breaching. There are usually some fine details in each contract, and a skilled Orange County attorney could help you identify whether your employer’s actions directly break contract.
Whether your hostile work environment had discriminatory context or broke contract, you should seek guidance from an experienced attorney to help you sue your employer for their actions and behavior. The process of suing an employer for creating a hostile work environment can be somewhat tricky as some criteria first must be met before bringing your case to a courtroom.
How Do I File A Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Against My Employer?
The process of building, filing, and settling a hostile work environment lawsuit can be somewhat challenging, as some steps must first be followed before you can bring your case to even fight for a settlement. First things first, it is crucial that you report all incidents of harassment, abuse, or intimidation to your company’s human resources (HR) department. This is done to not only notify your HR department of your employer’s actions but also to document any and all incidents of harassment. This is also useful later down the line if you ever bring your case to court. By first reaching out to your HR department you can show a jury that you made sure to take advantage of all avenues of resolution before filing a claim. Our attorneys will also recommend that you keep your accurate record of all events of harassment to ensure that everything is properly recorded.
Once your company’s HR department has received multiple reports of harassment, they will, more often than not, try and resolve the issue. HR main purpose is to settle disputes like discriminatory harassment before they can reach a courtroom. Often the cost of settling a case out of court is far lower than the cost of fighting against an employee’s claims in court. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and sometimes an HR department will do little to nothing to resolve your complaints. If this is the case, you should then file a claim with either the federally funded, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state anti-discrimination agency. These agencies will review your case, during which time you should collect all the evidence you need to support all of your claims. This evidence can include things like:
- Recorded instances, whether through photograph, video footage, or audio records, which detail the incidents in question
- Text messages, phone calls, or emails shared between you, your employer, and even your HR representative.
- Eyewitness testimony from co-workers, customers, or even family members that back up your claims.
As well as suitable evidence, it is also critical that you seek out legal representation from an experienced Orange County attorney if you haven’t already. A skilled attorney can guide you through the process of gathering all of the evidence necessary and can ensure that you followed all the required steps correctly. Once your case is reviewed by either the state or federal agency, they will decide to either approve or deny your claim. If they deny your claim, you will not be able to bring your case to court and may have to rely on out of court settlement with your HR department. If they approve your claim, they will send you a ‘right-to-sue’ letter which promises you and your attorney your right to take your employer to court. However, in most cases, an employer will settle a case at this point, as taking a case to court during this stage can cause more harm to their company than not.
Regardless of the details of your case, it is always in your best interest that you retain legal representation for your hostile work environment case from an attorney well versed on the legal rights of employees in the state of California. The process of suing an employer for creating and facilitating a hostile, abusive, or intimidating work environment can be incredibly challenging, and any misstep can result in your case being thrown from court, or never managing a settlement. With the right attorney by your side, you can efficiently build your case, file a claim, and reach a satisfactory outcome to your claims.
About Employee Legal Justice Team
The stress of discrimination or harassment can often be unbearable for victims of hostile work environments. If you or a loved one are experiencing a hostile work environment in Irvine or the surrounding Orange County area, yet are unsure of what your next steps should be, you may wish to reach out to an attorney in Orange County with experience in handling cases of this nature. Having the right attorney representing you and your case can make the difference between filing a successful claim for resolution, and continuing to experience the abuse and harassment present at your place of work. At Employee Legal Justice Team, our experienced Orange County hostile work environment attorneys can guide you through the often-arduous process of bringing your case to fruition. While our law firm is based near Irvine in Orange County, our attorneys also practice in Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Modesto, Riverside, Fresno, San Clemente, Santa Cruz, 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 for your damages.