Representing Employees who have been Subjected to a Hostile Work Environment in Missouri and Illinois
Harassment in the workplace based on sex, race, religion, disability, age, and other protected factors is prohibited under federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Employees who are harassed at work have the right to complain of the offensive conduct and have their employer take action to stop it. If an employer does not take necessary action to halt the harassing behavior, the victim of the harassment can be entitled to monetary compensation for the losses they incurred.
Harassment cases are complex and involve many different legal questions, so you should always seek help from an experienced harassment attorney who can advise you of your legal options and stand up for your rights.
Is Your Work Environment Hostile?
While unlawful harassment may be based on any of the protected classes, sexual harassment is generally the most common type at issue in hostile work environments. Sexual harassment may involve offensive comments, gestures, pictures, jokes, or other materials regarding a person’s gender. While it often is sexual in nature, any comments or content that is discriminatory regarding a person’s gender or sexual orientation may constitute sexual harassment.
Not every offensive comment will rise to the level of harassment in the workplace. Instead, in most cases, the harassing behavior must create what an objective and reasonable employee would consider to be a hostile work environment. In determining whether a hostile work environment existed, a court will examine the specific circumstances of what occurred, so a hostile work environment will be identified on a case-by-case basis.
Generally speaking, there are two ways that conduct create a hostile work environment, including:
- The conduct is repeated and pervasive enough; or
- A one-time action is offensive enough in itself to be hostile.
An experienced employment attorney can review what happened and advise you whether you may have a viable legal claim. If you do, you can seek compensation for any income you lost due to the harassment, as well as damages for emotional distress and other related losses.
In some cases, if your employer does not stop the harassment from persisting, you may feel you have no other option but to quit your job to escape the hostile work environment. In such situations, you may claim you were constructively discharged and can seek reinstatement into your job or reimbursement for lost earnings and opportunities due to ending the employment relationship. Constructive discharge may be found when an objective, reasonable person would have felt the need to end the employment relationship in the same circumstances.
Contact a St. Louis Hostile Work Environment Attorney to Discuss Your Rights
At the law firm of Kilo Flynn, our hostile work environment lawyers will stand up for your to be free from harassment in the workplace. We help clients in the Missouri counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln, Jefferson, Franklin and Crawford, and the Illinois counties of Madison, St. Clair and Monroe, so please call us today at 314-647-8910.