What Happens if My Employer Creates a Hostile Work Environment?

As a worker, you deserve to feel safe within your workplace. While we are well aware that there are some workplaces where hazards may exist, you should never feel as though your health or safety is at risk because of a coworker or employer.

Unfortunately, there are some situations in which someone within your company may create a hostile work environment, making it difficult for you to do your job. In these situations, you should know what to look for and understand what rights you have moving forward.

What Qualifies as a Hostile Environment?

A hostile work environment can occur in many ways, including the following:

  • HarassmentWhen you have one person or a group of people harassing you (physically, verbally, etc.) it can make for a very complicated work situation.
  • Bullying: Any kind of bullying can be seen as a hostile work environment, and it can be either physical or mental.
  • Dangerous work conditions: If an employer does anything to create a hostile work environment for you by making your work conditions dangerous, it can not only be difficult to work, it can cause you harm.

What is the Federal Definition of a Hostile Work Environment?

The federal definition of a hostile work environment includes behaviors that contribute to an unlawful environment. This may include the use of microaggressions, verbal or nonverbal insults, comments, or other unwelcome behavior that can be intentionally or unintentionally offensive, demanding or degrading. Such behaviors can create an environment that is intimidating, hostile, or abusive and can negatively impact an individual’s ability to perform their job effectively. It is important for employers to address these issues promptly and take steps to prevent such behaviors from occurring in the workplace.

What Should I Do if My Work Environment is Hostile?

If you find yourself either suffering harm or otherwise mentally harassed in a hostile work environment, know that you have rights. You must make a record of whatever the situation is and speak with legal counsel to determine if your rights have been violated.

An employer cannot create a hostile work environment and put you at risk. When they do, you should know that you have rights to move forward.

Proving You Work in a Hostile Environment

If you believe you are experiencing a hostile work environment, it is important to gather evidence to support your claim, if you are able. Here are some ways to prove a hostile work environment:

  • Keep detailed notes about each instance of harassment that occurs.
  • Save copies of all communications between you and your employer or harasser.
  • Gather employment records to demonstrate how the harassment has affected your work performance or career advancement.
  • Ask witnesses who have seen or experienced the harassment to provide testimony.
  • Obtain copies of any internal complaints or investigations related to harassment within the company.

Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and move forward with a strategy to bring your case against your employer.

Start Your Case Today

Our Los Angeles employment attorneys are here to help you through the complex process. When you need someone you can trust, we encourage you to rely on our team at Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP to safeguard your rights at all times. We’re here for you every step of the way.




If your claim has been denied or your attorney has decided to give up, reach out to our firm for a second opinion.