The average person will spend 90,000 hours working in their lifetime. When so much of your life is focused on the workplace, you need an environment that is supportive of your career, advancement, and safety, and puts your talents to work. However, for many American workers, managers and coworkers turn the work office into a battle zone.
Although workplace harassment is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and companies have established zero-tolerance policies, this doesn’t stop people from contributing to a hostile work environment. Many employees find that they are at risk for harassment the moment they walk into work.
Having a dedicated hostile work environment lawyer can make all the difference. We can safeguard your rights, ensure the workplace is a welcoming and supportive environment for everyone, and punish the employers who allowed the office to become the way it is.
One-third of American employees report being bullied at work each year. It’s gotten so costly, that between 2018 and 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recovered almost $300 million dollars from sexual harassment claims alone.
These funds are warranted because a hostile work environment can be devastating for both the employee and employer. Bullied workers report higher levels of stress, health issues, and problems at home that lead to an overall decline in their quality of life. At the same time, employers will experience higher turnovers, litigation costs, and loss of productivity.
Even if your company has anti-harassment policies in place, a bully will still test them to see if they’ll be enforced. If you feel you are working in a hostile work environment, you need to follow a few guidelines to protect your career and your health:
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment is unlawful if enduring unwelcome conduct based on protected characteristics (like race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, or sexual harassment) is a condition of your employment or if the conduct is severe enough that your workplace becomes hostile or abusive. In extreme cases, the harassment affects the victim’s employment status, whether it’s demotion or failure to promote. Slurs, physical threats, intimidation, and offensive jokes are all examples of workplace harassment.
That dirty joke your manager tells in the break room might be a way for him to blow off some steam, but to you as his subordinate, it may come off as intimidating and awkward. If a situation makes you uncomfortable or threatened, it’s important that people do not believe you welcome their misconduct. Do not laugh or joke with the harasser, and let them know that you are uncomfortable. But, do not feel like you have to confront them. It is the company’s responsibility to keep the workplace free from harassment. Instead, if the situation continues, it’s crucial to keep a record of all harassment incidents.
Everyone has heard that harassment is “he-said/she-said”, so it is important that you take all the steps you can to protect yourself. First, begin by keeping a log of all the incidents that occur. Second, keep any emails/texts or documents that show the harasser’s behavior. Third, record the harassment if you can. Most phones have recording devices. It is legal to record a conversation in Georgia and other states as long as you are a party to the conversation and all other parties to the conversation are also in your state. So, don’t leave a recorder and walk away, but if you are being harassed – record it.
To prevent a hostile situation from escalating, you should report any harassment to your human resources department as soon as possible. This way, the company can take appropriate and immediate action to rectify the situation, or so you have a record that you made the report if they fail to respond. If you do not have an HR department, the company doesn’t have an employee handbook, or you feel the company won’t validate your concerns, call our attorneys for advice on how to proceed. You can schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney today for no charge.
If you feel your concerns have not been addressed, the situation has not improved, or worst of all, you are demoted, terminated, or not promoted because of your harasser, it is time to contact an employment lawyer who specializes in discrimination and workplace harassment like the attorneys at Barrett & Farahany.
Today’s employees work too hard to have their talents and work compromised by harassment in the workplace. Laws are in place to protect your career against abuse and intimidation – as an employee, you need to understand your rights. You are not alone. Let our hostile work environment attorneys help!
A workplace has a life of its own, to a certain extent. Each place of employment has its own unique culture and personality, and that personality can be toxic or benign. It can be a breath of fresh air or constantly gloomy and dark.
Whatever your workplace culture may be, it will have an impact on your employees’ performance. It has been noted that having a healthy workplace culture fosters a much better work environment. A non-toxic environment can help to make employees more comfortable, more productive and, overall, much better employees.
A toxic work environment typically results in disgruntled employees who look at the company they work for as a revolving door. A disgruntled employee may leave the minute they secure a better opportunity, but a healthy work environment could foster more satisfied employees who are reluctant to leave. A satisfied employee may not only work harder but may also be more loyal. The more satisfied an employee is, the more likely they are to stay and work for you long-term.
Having a healthy workplace culture is important to everyone at Barrett & Farahany. A hostile work environment is not conducive to building a good workplace culture. A healthy workplace helps facilitate employee satisfaction, and higher employee satisfaction leads to a higher quality of work for our clients.
This sentiment is echoed by the Managing Partner at Barrett & Farahany, Amanda Farahany, who states, “Our firm believes that if we turn over every stone, no matter how large, we will find the information we need to help our client fight her cause. Each person in our firm has a role in accomplishing that.” This shows that each employee at Barrett & Farahany, and the contribution they make, is valued.
Some employers incorrectly assume that an applicant with a certain condition would be unable to perform a particular job, so they do not even consider their application.
By trusting your employees and showing confidence in them, you are saying that you value and trust their contributions. This is the kind of sentiment that results in employee satisfaction.
Employees should not be subjected to menial criticism or unhealthy conversations when they come to work, whether in person or remotely. They should know they are respected, not just by their supervisors, but by their co-workers as well.
All employees, no matter the work, want their sentiments and work to be acknowledged and respected. Without such an environment, there will be a high level of dissatisfaction, which typically means a high turnover rate.
By ensuring a healthy workplace culture, we are also ensuring that our clients will be able to get the personal attention they, and their cases, deserve. This will foster long-term relationships with clients as well.
Fostering a healthy workplace culture is known to increase not just employee well-being but client satisfaction as well.
We practice what we preach so our employees don’t go through what you may be going through in a hostile work environment. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected while they’re at work, so if you think you are not, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Our hostile work environment attorneys have knowledge gained after years of experience helping clients improve, survive, and/or get compensation from their workplaces. When you come to Barrett & Farahany, you always have attorneys who have your back. Contact us today.
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