Having to go to your job and enter a hostile work environment day in and day out can be utterly exhausting. When left unaddressed, these environments can develop into further destructive conditions, and our New Jersey employment law team outlines everything you need to know about hostile work environments below.
What is a Hostile Work Environment?
A hostile work environment is a job atmosphere in which supervisors, managers, or coworkers use their actions and words in a way that negatively impacts another employee’s ability to properly do their job.
Hostile work environments are also not just a term for specific workplace culture, it also holds legal weight. In order for a workplace to be considered a hostile environment according to the law, it must meet certain criteria. This includes:
- Continual harassment occurring over long periods of time on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, disability, or pregnancy.
- The harassment hinders an employee’s ability to work with unwelcome behavior, actions, or words.
- The environment harbors any type of harassment These actions are committed frequently enough to cause an atmosphere that intimidates employees.
Dealing with Hostile Work Environments
It is not your fault for experiencing a hostile environment at your job. If the issues persist, chances are your employer is also aware of them. If you file a report for harassment, and your employer fails to address the problem, your employer will then be considered responsible for allowing the hostile work environment to exist.
When looking to file a report, however, there are a few steps you should take to ensure you get the results you’re looking for. The first thing you need to do is compile any and all documentation of harassment or abuse. This includes any texts, emails, physical documents, or voicemails, as well as who was involved, when, where, and the types of harassment you experienced. Keeping a timeline of events is the best way to help you best recount what has been happening to you, and help those in charge of the investigation do their jobs with even more efficiency.
Then it comes time to file the report. Every company is different, and has certain procedures for filing these reports, so make sure to consult your employee handbook to find out exactly where to go to make the report.
The last step is to contact an attorney. This is recommended to make sure you are free to discuss any concerns or questions you have about your case without being influenced by anyone at your job. Securing legal counsel can also be of great service if any other legal issues pop up as a result of filing your report, such as wrongful termination or even retaliation.
Get in Touch With Our Team Today
No one deserves to walk into work every day with the fear of how they will be harassed that day. At Burnham Douglass Attorneys At Law, we understand what some employees go through on a daily basis, and are committed to providing personalized and compassionate services to help you find the justice you deserve.
To find out more about how we can help you, contact us through our website or give us a call at (856) 512-1461 to schedule your consultation today!