Though we would like to think that we live in a time where people are no longer harassed or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace, this is simply not the case. Individuals in Gloucester County and across the state of New Jersey face hostile work environments every single day, and oftentimes, they feel powerless because of it. After all, they need their jobs to pay their bills, purchase their groceries, and support their families. Fortunately, if you feel backed into a corner, there may be a solution, and our firm can help you find one. Contact The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about what an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer at our firm can do to help you if you face a hostile work environment.
Who is Liable for Harassment in the Workplace?
If you are someone who has been subjected to a hostile work environment on the part of a fellow employee or co-worker, the first thing you should do is report the harassment to your employer. In many cases, this will resolve the situation. However, if it does not, you should report the incident to your HR department. If you do not have an HR department, your HR department does not stop the harassment, or if the harassment is coming from your employer him or herself, there is a very good chance that you can hold your employer liable for the harassment. Your employer is legally obligated to stop any harassment that he or she knew or should have reasonably known about, and if your employer failed to live up to that responsibility, you may have a valid claim, as workers are protected from workplace harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What to Do If You Believe You Are the Victim of Workplace Harassment
The first thing you should do is assess the situation. Unfortunately, many legitimate claims of harassment get dismissed, and this is unacceptable. However, before taking legal action, you should ask yourself whether the incident was isolated, or whether it is persistent. You should also consider whether the incident(s) truly qualifies as harassment, and not simply teasing.
That being said, if you were subjected to slurs, offensive jokes, threats, or other behavior that created a truly hostile work environment, you most likely have a claim against your employer. However, to win such a claim, you will have to gather and present sufficient evidence to prove that the harassment did, in fact, occur and that your boss knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take action to stop it. Some of the most valuable forms of evidence are as follows:
Emails, text messages, or any other type of harassment sent in the written word. You should screenshot and print these messages so even if someone finds a way to delete them, you still have proof they happened.
Take pictures or videos of the harassment, if possible.
Ask anyone who witnessed the harassment for their contact information, as we may use their testimony to prove your case.
If you have taken the necessary steps to stop the harassment, such as notifying your employer and HR department and nothing has changed, it is most likely time to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey employment law attorney who can bring a claim against your employer. Attorney Vigilante has been helping victims of hostile work environments attain the justice they deserve for over 20 years, and she has what it takes to do the same for you.
Contact a New Jersey Hostile Work Environment Attorney
There are few things worse than being discriminated against, or otherwise harassed in the workplace, and our firm understands this. This is why we have dedicated years to helping all those who find themselves in this unfortunate position, and we are ready to help you, too. Contact The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. today so an experienced New Jersey employee rights lawyer can get started on your case.