What is Workplace Harassment? Workplace Harassment includes:
Sexual harassment in the workplace often goes hand-in-hand with other illegal acts, like gender discrimination. Hostile Workplace Environment deals with both sexual harassment in the workplace and racial, national origin or ethnic discrimination in the hostile workplace environment. Sexual harassment will be discussed in another section.
Hostile Workplace Environment: Race, National Origin, or Ethnic Discrimination & Harassment
The court's have held that if you are harassed in the work place about your race, ethnicity, or national origin you may have the right to sue your employer. Discrimination and harassment go hand in hand here. Where there is discrimination in the workplace, there is also usually harassment in the workplace.
Severe & Pervasive Harassment & Discrimination
First, the discrimination or harassment in the workplace must be severe and pervasive. An idle comment, even if, offensive is not the basis for a lawsuit. Ongoing use of the "N" word could be severe and pervasive. Having derrogatory words and racial or ethnic slurs written on the bathroom walls could be severe and pervasive. One has to look at it on a case by case basis.
Management Awareness: Next the conduct must be carried on by management or management must know about it and have had an opportunity to stop it and in fact, do not. In other words, management condones the behavoir.
Report The Behavior
If a fellow worker is the one doing the discrimination and harassment, you should follow the company policy and report the conduct to your supervisor and Human Resources. Report it in writing to have proof of the date you reported it, and be sure to be specific about the exact nature of the discrimination or harassment. Saying things like Joe is bothering me or harassing me is not sufficient. Also, saying that Joe called me the "N" word once is insufficient. Don't retaliate back, or you can be fired.
Who Can Sue?
Anyone who is offended by a discriminatory or sexually harassing hostile environment may theoretically sue. However, that employee's offense must be reasonable. An extremely sensitive person might not be able to maintain a claim, if his or her feelings, that have been offended, were not reasonable.
Damages in Discrimination or Sexual Harassment In The Workplace Cases
Victims of discrimination in the workplace or sexual harassment in the workplace can recover for their lost wages, future lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, and attorneys fees. The section on Damages discusses this further. Sexual Harassment Outside the Workplace This section is a supplement to the section on sexual harassment in the workplace. For a description of what sexual harassment is, and what forms it comes in, see Sexual Harassment. This section describes how sexual harassment can be illegal outside the workplace.
Connection to Workers' Compensation and Disability
An employee may be forced to take a stress leave, if treated badly enough by the employer. This may result in a disability claim or workers' compensation. Although, the employee does not still have a right to sue. If you have any questions about workplace harassment, please contact us at our Frisco office 972.668.0090 24 hour answering- 2801 Network Blvd #820, Frisco, Texas 75034.