What to do in a Hostile Work Environment

Do You need a San Francisco Harassment Lawyer?

You spend a great deal of time at work and in the office, and your work environment is less than ideal, by a long stretch. Perhaps you’re looking for an employment attorney to discuss a scary or disarming incident — a boss’s rude comment, perhaps, or a co-worker’s unwanted sexual advance. Or maybe you’re just generally fatigued by what you perceive to be a toxic workplace culture or miffed by a “glass ceiling” at your firm. In any case, here’s some key, basic information about hostile workplaces.

Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 defines unlawful workplace harassment in the following way. If someone at your office engages in unwelcome conduct – either verbal or physical – that focuses on your gender, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, or race, that conduct can constitute an illegal act.

Texting hostile work environment

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There are rules governing how and when unwelcome conduct crosses the line into legally actionable harassment. For instance, the conduct needs to be significant or long enough to be considered “hostile.” Additionally, the harassment must lead to tangible problems for the employee, such as the loss of a promotion, reduction of benefits or termination.

It is illegal for your employer to fire, demote or otherwise punish you for complaining about a perceived hostile workplace environment. In legal jargon, this is known as “retaliation.”

So what are some examples of actionable workplace harassment, for which a harassment lawyer can help you seek redress?

  • Your boss sends you lewd or vulgar emails or texts;
  • A co-worker engages in routine racist or sexist banter that makes you uncomfortable – for instance, posting racially insensitive “jokes” on the workplace fridge or “outing” a co-worker from the closet at a workplace party;
  • A subordinate touches you or leers at you in a way that makes you uncomfortable;
  • A superior fires or demotes you for failing to reciprocate a sexual advance.

Consulting a Bay Area Attorney

As you can guess, the line between “unwelcome but not necessarily illegal” and “unwelcome and illegal” is a blurry one that’s very context dependent. Fortunately, you don’t have to try to deal with your situation by yourself. The San Francisco attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel Vega would be happy to provide a free and confidential consultation to help you manage your hostile workplace situation and get clarity on your potential next steps. Call us to set up a free consultation: 866-471-6847.