At S.T. Legal Group, we work with many clients who are suffering daily in hostile work environments. We also see clients who are forced into litigation on unfair charges of allowing such environments to exist in their companies. Either way, the accusations are serious since they describe a situation in which victims suffer the indignity, humiliation, and emotional trauma of being bullied and taunted in their workplace.
If you work in a hostile work environment or are accused of promoting one, you should consult with our skilled employment law attorney to evaluate your case. Attorney Diana Taylor has the skills and experience necessary to work vigorously to protect your rights. Turn to S.T. Legal Group today to get started.
What constitutes a hostile work environment?
For a legally defined hostile work environment to exist, the distressing misconduct must be “pervasive,” interfering with the victim’s ability to perform her/his assigned duties. In other words, a single insulting or derogatory comment does not establish the existence of a hostile work environment. To be unlawful, the misconduct must be deemed by a court as behavior that would be considered “intimidating, hostile, or abusive” by a reasonable person.
Too Many Companies or Supervisors Tolerate Toxic Workplaces
In many situations, all an employer has to do to worsen the workplace atmosphere is to ignore nasty behavior. If an employer has been looking the other way while an individual or group is being harassed, even after the individual has brought the misconduct to the attention of someone supervisory, the claim of a hostile work environment may very well be winnable.
Whether the plaintiff is being personally targeted or is just a disturbed observer, if the conduct is real, the employer is punishable. If, however, the so-called hostile work environment has been wildly exaggerated or doesn’t exist at all, our talented employment attorney, Diana Taylor will defend your company from this false attack. At. S.T. Legal Group, whichever side of the hostile work environment case you’re on, we are on your side.
It’s worth noting that a workplace may be toxic as a result of any number of bullies who gang up to make an employee’s life miserable or due to the actions of one nasty individual. Whether the troublemaker is an immediate supervisor, a coworker, the CEO of the company, a contractor, a customer, or a custodian, the behavior is illegal and the employer can be held accountable. By the same token, if the toxicity only exists in the employee’s mind, Diana will soon get to the bottom of deception to protect the company from the erroneous charges.
Classes Protected by Anti-Discrimination Laws
You may remember bullying in the schoolroom occurring regularly even though it was a punishable offense; the existence of a hostile work environment is much the same. In the workplace, however, illegal bullying is based on the protected classification of its victim. By federal and Illinois law, all personnel in your workplace are forbidden to intimidate or demean you based on your:
- National origin or ancestry
- Sexual orientation or identity
- Citizenship status
- Age (40 and over)
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Pregnancy, childbirth, nursing status
- Order of protection status
- Physical or mental disability
- Arrest record
- Veteran or military status
Examples of prohibited behavior include any of the following types of behavior aimed at you:
- Physical contact that is offensive or threatening
- Offensive jokes
- Name-calling or put-downs
- Slurs to describe or address you
- Imitations of your posture, gait, behavior, or speech to mock you
- Excluding you from group activities
- Playing painful practical jokes on you
- Sending you written notes, emails, texts, chats that are offensive or mean
- Displaying pictures, cartoons, or written words that are meant to shame or humiliate
It is important to remember that the law also protects victims from retaliatory action so that when you make a complaint or file a lawsuit claiming a hostile work environment, your employer cannot punish you for standing up for your rights. Of course, this does not mean that you can make false charges against your employer with impunity.
If you are repeatedly taunted by others because of your religion, pregnancy, ethnicity, race, or disability, you are entitled to file a complaint to your employer. If the situation is not resolved, you can file a claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) — a necessary step before pursuing an employment discrimination lawsuit. In any event, contacting Diana Taylor, the outstanding employment attorney at S.T. Legal, will provide you with an evaluation of your case’s viability and your best options going forward.
If the reality is that your employee is making life difficult for you by threatening an unfounded hostile work environment lawsuit, or has already filed the claim against you, you need Diana Taylor in your corner.
What S.T. Legal Group Can Do About Your Hostile Work Environment
Once you contact Diana Taylor, you will feel the relief that comes from having a talented employment lawyer on your side. Because of her in-depth knowledge of the laws concerning hostile work environments, and her well-honed negotiation and litigation skills, she will give you the best chance of winning your case.
Because no one should have to put up with being targeted at the workplace. Diana will fight hard to try to obtain the compensation your cause warrants for:
- Lost income if you took a break from the psychological torture of your workplace
- Court costs and attorneys’ fees
- Emotional distress, e.g. anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, PTSD
- Costs for needed counseling or therapy
She understands the price you may have paid, financially and emotionally, for working under such painful conditions and will fight to try to bring you the peace and restored self-esteem of a successful outcome.
Nonetheless, if you are the employer plagued by illegitimate employee complaints, Diana can work with equal vigor to protect you and your company from reputational and financial damage.
Contact Our Deerfield Hostile Work Environment Attorney
Make today the day you stop being victimized and take the reins. As soon as you get in touch with Diana Taylor, you will begin to put the hostile work environment problem behind you and feel re-energized by the sense of your worth, your dignity, and your power. Contact our Illinois hostile work environment attorney today for an evaluation of your case.