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Employment Lawyer’s Notion On Hostile Work Environment

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Are You In A Hostile Work Environment?

Every employee has the right to work in a safe and positive working condition. Labor laws in California protect every employee from a hostile workplace and employer retaliation. Despite what preceded, if an employee such as you filed a discrimination or harassment claim against your employer, the possibility of experiencing a hostile workplace is high due to the retaliation of your employer. If this is the case, what should you do?

What Makes a Workplace Hostile?

A workplace can be characterized as hostile in many ways. Some believe it to be because of an awful employer, a rude coworker, uncomfortable work environment, being an unsuccessful candidate for promotion, lack of benefits and perks, unrecognized achievement at work, and so on. These are just some factors that show signs of anxiety and fear of the employee because of his or her workplace environment, leading to official complaints to HR about discrimination and harassment.

However, all these factors should meet certain legal criteria for the workplace to be categorized as hostile. The conduct, actions, or social relations must be discriminatory in nature and abusive. It must also prove that the employee was discriminated against based on:

  • race
  • gender
  • color
  • religion
  • sexual orientation or preference
  • ancestry and national origin
  • pregnancy
  • age
  • disability


Examples of a Hostile Workplace

There are certain factors that an employee should watch out for to identify if he or she is in a hostile workplace. Here are some examples of a hostile work environment:

  • Harassment

Sexual and Racial harassment are two things that always entice hostility among the employees. If the people you work with are circulating indecent remarks about your sexuality, saying racial slurs, and using profanity, then it is a sure sign of hostility in the workplace.

  • Discrimination

Constantly refusing applicants that belong to an older age group, or a female, or of a different nationality shows that the employer or hiring manager is biased against these group of people, and may lead to unfair conduct to those who are already hired that belongs to such criteria. This behavior may contribute to a hostile workplace.

  • Aggression

Hearing profanity and loud shouting regularly, directly or indirectly, because of certain tasks not done specifically to their standards or forcing employees to provide top sale performance is a clear sign of a hostile workplace. Such passive-aggressive demeanor results in unhealthy competition causing stress and hostility among coworkers.

  • Bullying

Teasing and playing jokes in the workplace is normal and when done positively can even induce positive productivity among employees. However, if done negatively and has become some sort of bullying then it is a sign of a hostile workplace. Public humiliation can cause embarrassment, stress, and depression that may lead to the person’s inability to work well and may even cause life-long psychological trauma.

  • Complaints and Consequences

If the employees are recurrently making complaints due to grievances and the consequences for such are disciplinary actions and sanctions, then there would be big chances of having a hostile workplace. Such employee complaints should be taken as a chance for positive reinforcement by the supervisor or employer and not the negative way around.

  • Ambiance

Having good instincts is a good plus in telling whether you are in a good or bad workplace. Inklings of being threatened, mistreated, and feeling miserable because of your work environment is a conclusive sign of a hostile workplace.


What Do I Do if I am a Victim of a Hostile Work Environment?

Any kind of discrimination and harassment at the workplace is outlawed by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. If any of the above-mentioned behavior and violent actions become prevalent, then a hostile and taxing work environment can eventually be experienced by the employee. But despite that, there are certain factors that an employee needs to prove to show that he or she is a victim of a hostile work environment. For instance:

  • Citing proof that you, as an employee, are a part of a protected class such as being a female, pregnant, ethnic minority, different religion, and so on.
  • Clear plain truth that you are being harassed or discriminated against for reasons that are unlawful according to employment and labor laws.
  • The oppressor is either the supervisor or any person higher in rank than you or the actual employer.
  • Evident damages such as physical, emotional, or financial that you have attained because of the hostile work environment.


Seek Help From An Employment Law Attorney

With the ongoing pandemic, finding a job has become a tad more difficult, and keeping one is even tougher. Securing your job is daunting especially if your employer is directly or indirectly harboring a hostile work environment against you. If you are experiencing a hostile workplace and have done all that you can to have it stop but still to no avail, seek help from an outstanding hostile workplace attorney in Los Angeles from Mesriani Law Group.

Mesriani Law Group offers a free consultation and can help you persistently make your employer be penalized for his or her unlawful and unjust actions toward you. We guaranty that you get the best compensation you deserve, give us a call now and do not hesitate to seek help.

About the Author
Picture of Rodney Mesriani
Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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