Most people work as employees for someone else, unless they own their own business. You may enjoy your job and the work you perform, even though you do have superiors to whom you answer. While working for someone else may not be a particular issue for you, working in a hostile work environment is a problem.
When you first started your job, you may not have noticed anything that made you feel uncomfortable. Over time, however, you began to experience discriminatory actions or other harassment from your co-workers, or even your superiors. As the mistreatment went on, you began to feel as if you could not perform your work-related duties well.
Did your employer take measures to prevent harassment?
Multiple laws exist that work to prevent harassment, discrimination and other mistreatment in the workplace. Unless your employer meets certain exemptions, the company must adhere to these laws. Your employer could also have taken other measures to prevent a hostile work environment, such as the following actions:
- Having policies in place that explained the prohibited nature of harassing behaviors in the workplace, and providing those policies to every employee
- Providing periodic training about what actions constitute harassment, examples of those behaviors and why they are inappropriate
- Explaining the process for filing a report in the event that an employee does feel harassed on the job
- Reviewing any complaints, investigating the issues further and taking disciplinary action as needed
If your employer failed to take these measures, violations of the law may have occurred, and you may have reason to take additional action to ensure that he or she does not push aside your well-being and concerns.
What can you do?
In some cases, if an employer did not take the appropriate action to handle complaints about a hostile work environment, affected employees may need to go outside the company for help. Because discrimination and other forms of harassment are illegal, you may have reason to move forward with a legal claim against your employer if you feel that your complaints about such actions did not get properly addressed.
The idea of taking legal action against your employer may seem stressful, but the action may be worth it if it allows you to pursue restitution for the mistreatment you face at work. To gain more information about filing a legal claim and to obtain an assessment of your particular circumstances, you may want to contact a California employment law attorney.