Hostile Work Environment
No employee should have to face a hostile work environment while working in New York. The federal government and New York state have created laws which prohibit certain types of hostile work environments. Long Island hostile work environment lawyers such as the lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick fight for workplace rights.
According to one source on the internet, the average American will spend 90,360 hours at work throughout his or her lifetime. If a worker were to work those hours consecutively, that would amount to 10 years! Most people already don’t enjoy going to work when the work environment is tolerable or even when working with people the worker may enjoy being around. Workers should not be subjected to a hostile work environment which makes working conditions worse than they might otherwise be.
Unfortunately, the law does not prevent all types of hostile work environments. In fact, courts routinely remind workers that the law does not require that workplaces be civil, that co-workers be nice to one another, or that supervisors treat workers well. The law only prohibits hostile work environments which are based on protected categories, such as age, sex, disability, race, or national origin. In other words, under the law, a hostile work environment does not exist simply because of personality conflicts. Rather, the hostile work environment must be created because a worker does not like the sex, race, disability, etc. of another worker.
Examples are the best way to illustrate different types of hostile work environment. The classic example of a hostile work environment is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment exists when an employee’s workplace is filled with offensive or abusive sex based comments. Pornographic pictures in the workplace are a common example of a sex based hostile work environment. Sexual jokes are another example of sexual harassment.
But, a hostile work environment can be based on factors other than sex. For example, if an employee has a disability which causes the worker to have difficulty walking, the worker may use a cane or other device. If the co-workers of this employee with a disability mock or make fun of the way the disabled employee walks, the employee may have a claim for a hostile work environment based on disability.
While courts sometimes require employees to show that the offensive or abusive conduct was going on for a long period of time, a single incident in the workplace may be sufficient to constitute a hostile work environment. An extreme and disgusting example of one incident of a hostile work environment based on race may be a noose displayed in the workplace. So, even if you have faced just one incident which you believe to be a hostile work environment, you should speak to a Long Island hostile work environment lawyer about your case.
Victims of a hostile work environment on Long Island should contact an experienced employment lawyer. At Famighetti & Weinick PLLC we offer free consultations to victims of a hostile work environment. Our Long Island employment lawyers have counseled many clients about how to respond to a hostile work environment. Further, our attorneys are often able to intervene to make the work environment better for victims. Sometimes that means negotiating a transfer for the work. Other times our employment lawyers are able to negotiate a severance package for the employee. That way the employee is able to have a financial cushion while looking for a better job.
Either way, employees subjected to hostile working environments have options. Don’t suffer silently. Speaking with a Long Island employment attorney sooner rather than later can lead to a quicker resolution of the hostile environment conditions.