Hostile Work Environments in Florida
Sometimes, life can be challenging at work due to attitudes and moods, but when other coworkers and your boss act hostile towards you, your life is miserably challenging. No employee has the right to create a hostile work environment, especially the boss.
Often, employees have yet to grow up and mature to the point that they know how to lead employees in the way they should be taught. If your employer could be more transparent about what kind of work environment is hostile, many problems could be avoided.
Thus, other employees follow suit, picking and choosing who will be their next victim. Although they know that the boss will not write them up because the boss always acts hostile, it makes this behavior OK in the eyes of some employees.
This can make a few of the majority of excellent working employees become the next target of someone’s hostility. The victim feels like they are in a losing battle for peace and quiet at work.
What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment in FL?
Employees often try to neglect any hostility they experience in the workplace because they brush off hostility as an everyday occurrence, and most individuals do not want to make waves.
Instead, you try hard to stay out of the person’s way and do your work as best as possible. However, you may tell yourself that hostile actions by another coworker or boss are status quo for that person; they know no better, so you tolerate their actions until you cannot tolerate them any longer.
The following could constitute a hostile workplace environment, but under the laws of the federal government and FL, these may not necessarily make the workplace environment hostile. These things are annoying, hated, uncalled for, and disturbing but not necessarily malicious legally.
- A consistently rude employer or coworker causes hostility in the workplace.
- A consistently turned-down promotion reaps hostility.
- Failure to obtain a much-needed raise. For example, another coworker who does not fulfill their job obligations and is clearly not a dedicated worker gets the pay raise or promotion that was clearly yours. It is easy for you to become bitter. However, the employer is creating a hostile work environment.
- The asking of an inappropriate question of you.
- When the boss is constantly looking over your shoulder for no reason.
- When someone constantly belittles you or calls you names.
- When someone displays inappropriate advances or unacceptable behavior toward you.
So, what can be considered issues that create hostility in the workplace?
If your workplace causes you not to be able to fulfill the duties you were hired to do because of the behaviors of coworkers or employers, it can be considered a hostile work environment.
All the possible elements of the above examples only become hostile with a twist. For instance, does a coworker or boss constantly,
- Tell you sexually explicit jokes.
- Is someone relentless about sexual innuendos towards you?
- Is someone making you feel grossly uncomfortable or fearful while you are at work?
- Is pornography being constantly spread around the office or left on your desk?
- Is a coworker or your boss constantly communicating to you inappropriate conversation regarding your religion, race, age, or gender?
- An inappropriate joke told once is not illegal. However, inappropriate jokes told daily could contribute to workplace hostility. These constant jokes can be belittling, poking fun at you in ways that cause you mental anguish, and interfere with your job performance.
What one person believes is funny can deeply trouble the person the joke is meant for, which can interfere with that person’s work.
- Are you a victim of bullying?
How Do You Handle Hostility in the Workplace?
If you fall victim to a hostile work environment, you should take a trusted coworker with you to address this behavior face-to-face with the person creating hostility. Never attempt to hide and use a recorder during a meeting, as recording someone without their knowledge is illegal. Document everything on paper after the meeting.
It is not correct if your boss consistently yells at all employees; however, it is different than yelling at only you all day. Be aware that their actions must stop once you address the problem with the person.
Give the hostile person time to digest what you said, and they must have adequate time to change their behavior. If they continue the aggressive actions, you must report these incidents to your boss and the Human Resources Department. Again, allow your boss and human resources time to react.
- Most employers are helpful to those in hostile situations.
- Most employers will not tolerate hostility in the workplace.
- Most employers do not want other employees to feel uncomfortable because it interferes with job performance.
Please call us if you cannot do your job to its fullest because of someone’s actions and if you are continually fighting hostility in the workplace. We want to hear your story. But first, we must decide if you are a victim of a hostile work environment. If this is the case, we can help you stop these behaviors. This is your legal right.
We still see many clients who suffer from discrimination based on race, disability, religion, age, and gender. When these issues crop up, they cause workplace hostility and discrimination against you, which is illegal in any state, including Florida.
Understand that hostile actions must occur on a continued basis. One-time occurrences are not legal grounds for workplace hostility; they must be persistent.
You must prove that you reported your coworkers’ actions and made your employer aware. In addition, you must verify that your boss did nothing to stop the hostile environment.
Unfortunately, the victim must always bear the burden of proof, but we can help if you call us and tell us your story. Let us decide if you have a case against an inappropriate coworker or boss.
Never fight this battle without legal defense by your side. Once you accuse someone of creating a hostile work environment, that person (s) will hire an attorney to fight against you, and you will not win your case without legal representation.
The Victim Must Bear the Burden of Proof
The Federal and State Law is on Your Side Regarding Hostile Work Environments. A federal law was enacted in 1964 prohibiting certain conduct in work environments. Employers and other employees cannot discriminate against or harass anyone in the workplace under Florida law. No person can be discriminated against for their race, religion, age, gender, or nationality. The hostile person must,
- Be considered abusive, cruel,
- Interfere with someone’s job duties
- The actions must cause you poor work output.
- Cause a decrease in your quality of work.
No industry is exempt from workplace hostility. Unfortunately, these behaviors happen daily, all day, and in most jobs. Documentation is a big part of winning your case against harassment. We will go into the documentation process when we meet. We ask that you do a few things regarding a hostile workplace.
- It is vital to document all you can, such as dates, times, comments made, and actions performed by the accused and yourself, the amount and severity of the hostile actions, meetings regarding your complaint, what was said, and the actions of others in the discussion.
- Hostile work environment claims are filed every day. However, these claims demand solid proof of hostility. Your evidence must be substantial and unreputable.
- A Florida court of law considers the frequency and severity of hostility.
- You must show that you were the targeted victim.
- You must ask the person to stop their actions.
- You must file an internal complaint, as this is your right under federal law. Always be confident that you will not be fired, lose a bonus, or not get a raise.
- Retaliation from a coworker or employer is illegal once you speak against a hostile person.
- Have proof that your boss knew about the complaint.
- Document witnesses in detail.
- Be sure your workplace is under federal anti-discrimination laws. The criteria of this law say that there must be at least 15 employees for complaints of discrimination and at least 20 employees for age-based complaints.
Getting no relief from this harassment means it is time to seek our firm’s seasoned, experienced attorneys. We deal with hostile work environments in the state of Florida. We want to hear your story and the proof you have that you go to work every day and walk into a hostile work environment.
Call employment attorney Mitch Feldman for an initial free consultation; we will collect no fees until we win your case. The sooner you call us, the sooner you get to work in comfort and peace, which is the right of every employee. The following are on your side.
- Our esteemed attorneys
- Federal Laws
- Title VII/Civil Rights Act of 1964
- In 1969, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990