Houston, TX – The concept of a hostile work environment is important for claims regarding sexual harassment and other workplace problems. If the victim can show that the problems in their workplace were so pervasive that they created a hostile work environment, then they will succeed in their claim. Damages given to victims may include compensation for lost wages or expenses associated with finding new employment.
Inquiries into cases that involve claims of hostile work environments
There are six factors that need to be examined to determine whether the work environment is considered hostile as a matter of law. These factors are used in both federal lawsuits and equal employment opportunity commission investigations. They must show that the factors combined to interfere with the person’s work performance in an unreasonable manner, or that the work environment was intimidating, hostile, or offensive.
Factors that are reviewed in hostile work environment cases
The first factor is the nature of the conduct and whether it included verbal communications, physical touching, or both kinds of harassment. The second factor is the frequency and regularity of such inappropriate conduct. The third factor is an inquiry into the hostility and offensive nature of the conduct. Fourth is to determine if the person responsible for this kind of conduct was either a supervisor or another coworker. The fifth question is to determine if any other employees of the same company were involved in the incident. Finally, there is an investigation to determine if more than one victim was affected. After all of these factors are considered, there is not an exact way to determine how each factor will affect the outcome. An investigatory body or judge will use the totality of the circumstances to decide whether the conduct reached the levels of a hostile work environment.
Making sure that conduct is unwelcome
Cases related to sexual harassment and similar forms of workplace misconduct must show that the conduct was unwelcome. This means that the worker did not respond to or instigate such conduct. In most cases the victim should also make it clear to the person responsible that their actions are inappropriate. Victims will also benefit from documenting specific times and incidents when unwelcome advances happened and affected their ability to work as normal. These specific documents may be used as evidence in a later lawsuit or formal investigation into the alleged hostile work environment.
Getting additional help from a local firm
Moore and Associates handles various types of employment and labor cases in the state of Texas. Clients who retain the firm will receive superior guidance throughout the process of a lawsuit and assistance with getting the most compensation allowed by law.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002