A San Jose Attorney Protects You from a Hostile Work Environment

You do not have to work in an oppressive and damaging workplace

Harassment from a coworker or manager is the cause for legal action. However, when malicious behavior rises to such a level that it interferes with your ability to perform your job, it takes on a different dimension. A hostile work environment occurs when harassment is so severe and pervasive that you can no longer perform your duties at your workplace. If you are being victimized by coworkers or management at your job, you have legal options.

The Law Office of George Duesdieker helps you fight back against the conduct of others. If you believe your office has become a hostile work environment, you may have a claim for damages.

A hostile work environment requires several key factors

A hostile work environment indicates a high level of abuse or discrimination. In order to prevail on a claim that your job has become a hostile work environment, you must demonstrate:

  • You are part of a protected category ― The law offers protections to groups of people based on race, religion, age, disability, national origin and gender. An attorney can help understand if you qualify under the law.
  • Pervasive conduct ― The activities in question have to be continuing, and cannot be limited to isolated incidents of offensive behavior.
  • Severely inappropriate behavior ― The actions of coworkers must be severe. A single hostile comment or off-color joke is not sufficient by itself to create a hostile work environment.
  • Insufficient action to correct the problem ― You must show that your employer had knowledge of the problem and either took little or no action to rectify it.

These requirements must be shown to recover monetary damages for a hostile work environment. If you are unclear if your situation qualifies, our employment law attorney George Duesdieker can explain more about employment law and the legal process.

A hostile work environment can take different forms

The designation of “hostile work environment” can apply to a variety of scenarios. Typical examples include:

  • Constant, inappropriate email forwards, sexually suggestive jokes or other forms of sexual harassment
  • Comments about your physical appearance or uncomfortable physical contact
  • Racially charged comments or use of racial slurs
  • Negative comments about your gender, religious beliefs or country of origin
  • Offensive comments about a physical or mental handicap

Other examples may include negative treatment in response to pregnancy and a request for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, or discrimination prohibited under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Some claims may be barred by a statute of limitations. This means that a court will not hear a lawsuit if a certain period has passed since the last incident. If you believe you may have a claim, you should immediately speak to an employment law attorney about your rights and options.

Contact us if you believe you are stuck in a hostile work environment

The Law Office of George Duesdieker focuses on the employment law concerns of San Jose and the surrounding area. If you believe you work in a hostile work environment and want to learn more about your legal protections, contact us at 650.684.5444 or online to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer contingent fees, so you are not billed until you receive compensation.