Hostile Work Environments in Cherry Hill
Everyone deserves to feel safe from harassment and unfair treatment at their place of employment, and both federal and state laws enforce various protections to make sure of that. Accordingly, if you find yourself subject to verbal or physical misconduct at your job, you may have grounds to file suit for a hostile work environment.
However, specific criteria must be met for litigation over a hostile work environment in Cherry Hill to be successful. Working with a knowledgeable employment law attorney is often crucial to ensuring these conditions are met and that your claim is as strong as possible.
How Does State Law Define a Hostile Work Environment?
Some hostile work environments in our area can be attributed to the discriminatory behavior of one of more individuals. When one or more employees feel ostracized, tension can build in the workplace. The New Jersey Law against Discrimination prohibits workplace discrimination of any kind based on a number of different characteristics, including but not limited to:
- National origin
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Physical or mental disability
- Military status
In addition to banning discrimination in hiring or firing, this law also makes it illegal for employers to knowingly or negligently allow harassment in the workplace to continue. Legal counsel at our firm could offer valuable insight on how local courts typically approach these types of cases and what evidence might be useful to demonstrate hostility in a work environment.
Filing a Case and Pursuing Compensation
Tension in the workplace must be both pervasive and severe in order to qualify a work environment as legally hostile. In other words, the negative atmosphere must have a direct impact on a worker’s ability to perform his or her job duties and be so significant that a neutral third party would reasonably agree that it constitutes harassment. If an aggrieved worker can prove that the hostility in question is specifically based on a protected characteristic, he or she may have grounds for workplace discrimination.
Importantly, while establishing a pattern of behavior is often crucial to proving that a hostile work environment exists, it is not always necessary. In some cases, for example, our Cherry Hill lawyers have seen that a single racial epithet or a single instance of sexual harassment could be severe and pervasive enough to warrant legal action.
Likewise, a tense work environment does not necessarily need to result in adverse employment action like demotion or termination in order to violate the NJLAD. Either way, if a lawsuit filed over hostility in the workplace is successful, recoverable damages may include attorneys’ fees, recovery for emotional anguish and distress, and any loss of income caused by unfair reassignment or termination.
Let a Cherry Hill Attorney Help File Suit over a Hostile Work Environment
While not every rude comment or isolated incident in the workplace justifies legal action, a consistent pattern of hostility on the basis of one of more protected factors could give rise to a valid claim for damages. If your workplace environment is so tense that it impedes your ability to perform your job duties, a qualified legal representative from our firm may be able to help you file suit and pursue significant compensation.
No one should have to deal with a hostile work environment in Cherry Hill, and if you believe your workplace meets the criteria established under federal and state law, you should not delay in exploring your legal options. Call today to set up a meeting with a seasoned legal professional.