Denver Hostile Work Environment Attorney
Workplace harassment is a prevalent issue throughout the United States. Unfortunately, although state and federal laws work to protect workers from harassment, Denver employees across all industries still experience hostile work environments and suffer from their effects.
A hostile work environment can cause significant hardships. Such an environment causes harm to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing, and may even lead to financial difficulties. A person who feels unwelcome at work due to being the target of offensive behavior may have grounds for a hostile work environment lawsuit. It is the duty of a Denver employment attorney to guide workers in pursuing substantial claims against employers who allow such environments to thrive.
Identifying a Hostile Work Environment
What is a hostile work environment? In simple terms, any work environment which has made one or more employees feel unwelcome, scared, or intimidated due to unwelcome or offensive behavior may be considered hostile.
To put it differently, when the actions or words of someone with whom you work alters the work environment into one in which you no longer feel is a safe and comfortable place to perform your duties, you may be in a hostile work environment.
You must be the target of behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable, scared, or intimidated due to your status as a protected class member to bring forth a valid hostile work environment claim. Denver employers may not discriminate against workers on the basis of:
- National origin
- Gender or sexual orientation
- Physical or mental disability
- Marriage to a coworker
The actions and communications that contribute to a hostile work environment must not only be unwelcome and based on discrimination, they must also be pervasive.
When Jokes Contribute to a Hostile Work Environment
Sometimes, a person may be the target of unwelcome jokes. A single instance of being the punchline of a joke does not make for a hostile work environment. If, however, the jokes against you don’t stop after you have asked for them to stop, they become instances of harassment.
If the jokes target your membership of a protected class, such as your age, pregnancy, race, sex or gender, religion, or other, they contribute to a hostile work environment. It’s important to keep records of the people telling these jokes and in what context. Your records might make for good evidence should a lawsuit unfold.
Legal Requirements for a Hostile Work Environment
Not all annoying behaviors or discouraging remarks contribute to a hostile work environment. Legal requirements for a hostile work environment include:
- The comments and behavior directed against you show discrimination based on you being a member of a protected class.
- The comments, behaviors, or actions directed against you must occur over a period of time.
- The comments and actions directed against you must be severe enough to disrupt your ability to complete your work.
- You must reasonably believe your employer knows about the comments and actions directed against you that interrupt your ability to succeed.
You have the right to a safe and comfortable environment in which to perform your job responsibilities. State and federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act protect these rights. An employment lawyer who handles hostile work environment claims can take action against your employer if they violate these laws.
Fight Back with a Nearby Hostile Work Environment Attorney
The type of behavior that constitutes a hostile work environment might come from your manager, coworker, client, independent contractor, or anyone else you must interact with at work. If you cannot remedy the situation on your own, it might be time to consult a Denver hostile work environment attorney.
Attorney Nathan Davidovich of The Davidovich Law Firm, LLC has over 55 years of experience helping clients pursue employment claims in Denver. He fights for workers who endure harassment in the workplace and works to uphold the state and federal protections to which we are all entitled. Contact Nathan by calling (303) 825-5529 or complete our contact form.