Hostile Work Environments
In order to have a legitimate hostile work environment case, you must prove three things:
- An employee was subjected to unwanted conduct
- The conduct was based on sex
- The harassment was “severe or pervasive” and altered the conditions of a victim’s employment
The law requires a “commensurately higher showing that the sexually harassing conduct was pervasive and destructive of the working environment.” This means that a reasonable person would find the work place intolerable and detrimental to the working environment.
In order to hold the employer accountable, the employer must be in the know about the conduct. Knowledge of the doduct and then failure to remedy it is key here. This knowledge can be recognized as a personal observation or an employee’s report.
Insight regarding your employer’s process of reporting conduct can be extremely beneficial. Following the employer’s process can be key to your case. Filing a written complaint to a supervisor and human resources creates a legal obligation for the employer to conduct an investigation. They must take “prompt and sufficient remedial measures” to put an end to the harassment. You may also file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing at their website: dfeh.ca.gov.
Employment trial lawyers can provide sound advice and help navigate a potential lawsuit. The goal is for employers to maintain a harassment-free workplace. Thus, effective communication is helpful when strengthening your case.