Every employee has the right to feel safe, secure and comfortable in their workplace. Sadly, employees continue to face behavior that is inappropriate, offensive and hostile. Missouri and federal law recognize an employee's right to use the courts to end hostile behavior and compensate them for harm they have suffered.
A "hostile work environment" occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome harassment due to his/her sex, age, religion, race, national origin, ethnicity, disability (including pregnancy), or because the employee reported illegal or harassing behavior. If your workplace has become a hostile environment, you likely have legal options.
All too frequently claims of hostile work environment result in a "he said" / "she said." Despite this, a victim can try to avoid this situation by taking careful notes, discussing the situation with his/her supervisors, and/or reporting the behavior to the employer's human resources department.
Before filing suit in court, you will likely need to follow the procedure of filing a "Charge of Discrimination" with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (see our employment discrimination page for more details). To pursue federal claims, a Charge of Discrimination may also be filed with the EEOC within 300 days of the discriminatory or harassing act.
One of the questions we frequently encounter from an individual subject to a hostile work environment is: "Can I quit rather than having to endure the environment?" Typically, the answer to the question is "probably not." However, when behavior is particularly pervasive, extreme or egregious, an employee may be able to resign his or her employment and still seek damages for his/her losses. When this occurs, it is called a constructive discharge.
There are many pitfalls an employee may encounter when bringing a claim stemming from a hostile work environment. The attorneys within the "Employment Law Group" at Hall Ansley specialize in handling all types of hostile work environment cases from inception through trial.
Our firm does not typically collect fees on these types of cases unless our client is successful.
Contact us today. We will be happy to discuss the situation with you and answer any questions you may have. There is no fee for the call or the consultation, and our firm does not typically collect fees on these types of cases unless our client is successful.