Hostile Work Environment Lawyers in New Jersey
Helping Workers Pursue Their Legal Options in NJ & Philadelphia
A hostile work environment isn’t what most people think it is. It’s not a situation where your boss’ ridiculous policies are designed to catch you doing something wrong at every turn. It’s not even the same boss going on a screaming tirade, throwing objects around the room, or subjecting employees to demeaning treatment. This kind of behavior is certainly hostile, but to meet the legal definition of a hostile work environment it must also be rooted in discrimination.
The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. works to help clients who have experienced abuse in a hostile work environment. It not only cuts much deeper to be subjected to hostility because of who you are, what you look like, or what you believe, but it is entirely illegal. Our hostile work environment attorneys in New Jersey can help you assert your rights and fight for what you deserve.
Protected Characteristics Play a Key Role
Because discrimination must be at the core of a hostile work environment claim, an employee’s protected characteristics play a key role. Federal and state laws have identified a number of traits about people that are completely off-limits when it comes to how they’re treated at work.
In New Jersey, protected characteristics include the following:
- Age (if 40 or older)
- Skin Color
- National Origin
- Disability Status
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- Familial and Marital Status
- AIDS or HIV Status
- Liability for Military Service
If you are subjected to severe or pervasive hostility that is motivated by one or more of your legally protected characteristics, consult with our hostile work environment attorneys in New Jersey. You may be eligible to file a claim and seek monetary damages from your employer if they are liable for your mistreatment.
Hostile Work Environments Involving Sex Discrimination
A hostile work environment can exist when an employee is subjected to sexual harassment, which is sex discrimination.
Such behavior can include the following:
- Engaging in unwanted touching, including more serious offenses such as sexual assault.
- Discussing sexual activity, sexually suggestive topics, or using explicit language.
- Making unwelcomed comments that refer to someone else’s body or appearance.
- Displaying sexually explicit material, images or writing, anywhere at the worksite.
- Transferring sexually suggestive or explicit content to coworkers via email, instant messages, text messages, and other media.
- Telling jokes derogatory “jokes” about a sex or sexual orientation, or those that are sexually explicit.
Hostile Work Environments Rooted in Race or Religious Discrimination
A hostile work environment based on discrimination against someone’s race or religion can include transgressions such as the following:
- Displaying racially charged cartoons, pictures, quotes, and other content around the office
- Using racial or ethnic slurs, or other language that discriminates against someone’s race or religion
- Telling offensive “jokes” that involve race and/or religion
Proving a Hostile Work Environment Claim
Discrimination against an employee’s protected characteristics is vital to a hostile work environment claim, but even this may not be enough to win a lawsuit.
To succeed, the plaintiff in a hostile work environment claim must prove the following:
- The conduct experienced by the employee is discriminatory and directed toward a protected characteristic.
- The conduct has occurred over time or is pervasive; it is not limited to a stray remark or relatively minor isolated incident. An employer’s failure to investigate or correct the conduct can contribute to its pervasiveness.
- The conduct is severe enough that it negatively impacts the employee’s ability to work.
- The conduct continues to occur, despite the employee making it clear that it is not welcomed.
What You Should Do
If you believe you are working in a hostile work environment and need to seek legal action, reach out to The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. for support. Our attorneys have the skill and experience it takes to help you through each step of your claim and advise you of your options throughout the process.
Together, we can take the necessary steps toward holding those responsible accountable for their unlawful behavior. Learn more about what The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. can do by scheduling a free initial consultation.
Get in touch with our legal team today by submitting an online contact form.
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