Understanding Your Rights: When Can You Sue Your NJ Employer for a Hostile Work Environment?
Workplace harassment can take many forms, including verbal abuse, physical intimidation, and discrimination. Everyone deserves to work in an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, and other forms of mistreatment. If you believe that you are working in a hostile work environment in New Jersey, it is important to understand your rights and know when you can sue your employer.
What is a hostile work environment?
When an employer or co-workers do things that make an employee feel uncomfortable, scared, or harassed, this is called a “hostile work environment.” Discriminatory remarks, unwanted advances, threats, offensive jokes or images, unwanted physical contact, verbal abuse, or physical abuse are all examples of things that can create a hostile work environment. It’s important to remember that a hostile work environment isn’t just one single incident that happened. Instead, the bad treatment must happen often enough that a reasonable person would find the work environment hostile or abusive. While the concept of a hostile work environment is well known, not all situations rise to the level of being legally actionable.
When can you sue your NJ employer for a hostile work environment?
If your work environment is hostile, you may be wondering if you can sue your employer for creating or allowing the situation to happen. It is important to know your rights and understand when you can sue your employer. In New Jersey, to prove that you have been subjected to a hostile work environment, you must be able to prove the following:
- You were subjected to unwanted harassment, discrimination, or other offensive conduct.
- The harassment was based on your protected characteristic, such as your race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected characteristic.
- The harassment was severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment.
- The harassment was either encouraged by your employer or your employer failed to take reasonable steps to prevent or stop the harassment.
What can you do to protect your rights?
If you are experiencing a hostile work environment, there are steps you can take to protect your rights. You should:
- Keep a record of all incidents of harassment, including the date, time, location, and nature of the incident, as well as the names of any witnesses.
- Report the harassment to your employer’s human resources department or your supervisor.
- If the harassment continues after you have reported it, file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights.
- Consider speaking with an experienced employment law attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Contact Attorneys Hartman, Chartered Today For a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Hostile Workplace Case
Even though the legal system can be complicated and difficult to understand, a qualified employment law attorney can guide you and protect your rights. At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, we understand the stress and emotional toll that can come from working in a hostile work environment. Our experienced employment law attorneys are committed to helping clients in New Jersey navigate the legal system and get justice. With our team by your side, you can trust that your rights will be protected and your voice will be heard. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.