Every employee has the right to work in a safe environment that is free from harassment. When employers fail to prevent harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, New York City employees can be subjected to a hostile work environment. Hostile work environments are prohibited under local, state, and federal law, providing victims a way to pursue compensation for their damage through a legal claim.
Providing Effective Legal Representation for Victims of a Hostile Work Environment
Lipsky Lowe LLP has a proven track record of fighting for victims of hostile work environments in New York City. Our seasoned litigators know how to hold employers accountable when they have harmed employees by failing to stop a hostile work environment. When you choose to work with Lipsky Lowe LLP, we will review your case, answer your questions, and help you make informed decisions. Contact Lipsky Lowe LLP today to schedule your free initial consultation. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t have to pay until we successfully obtain compensation for you.
Types of Hostile Work Environment Cases We Handle
A hostile work environment occurs when the work environment becomes so unbearable that the employee has difficulty continuing working. An employee’s environment may start as tolerable but can still become hostile over time. In many hostile work environments, employees are scared to continue working because they know they’ll experience devastating harassment. Offensive conduct may include:
- Offensive jokes
- Physical threats or assault
- Targeted bullying
- Online harassment
- Sexually explicit comments, messages, or emails
- Sexually explicit gestures
- Display of offensive pictures or objects
- Interference with work performance
How Our NYC Hostile Work Environment Attorneys Can Help
Harassment in the workplace can create a hostile work environment that negatively affects an employee’s personal and business life, making you dread or fear going to work. Exposure to constant sexual harassment
can make victims feel trapped and cause significant mental and emotional repercussions. When New York City employers create or allow a hostile work environment, victims can bring a legal claim for compensation against them.
Do I Have a Valid Hostile Work Environment Claim?
The best way to learn whether or not you have a valid legal claim is to discuss your case with an attorney. Unfortunately, not all instances of harassment will be severe enough to constitute an unlawful hostile work environment. The attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP will carefully listen to the facts of your case during your complimentary case evaluation. Based on our experience and knowledge of relevant employment laws, we can advise you whether you may have a valid claim.
Suppose the hostile work environment is so difficult that you are contemplating leaving your job. In that case, it can be beneficial to discuss your case with an attorney before you accept a severance package or quit. If you sign a severance package, you will likely be waving your right to bring a legal claim against your employer. An attorney can also help you gather evidence that can prove a hostile work environment exists, such as:
- Records of all of the times you have reported harassment
- Detailed accounts of all of the instances of harassment
- Physical evidence, including photographs, emails, and notes
- The contact information for witnesses
- Witness statements made in writing and signed by the witnesses
- Examples of the negative impacts the harassment has had on your health and personal life
Work From Home Employees Can Experience a Hostile Work Environment
More employees than ever are working remotely. Working in the privacy of one’s home may seem like a safer option when it comes to avoiding harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many cases in which remote employees are subjected to hostile work environments while working from home. Most companies use software and applications that allow employees to communicate with each other online.
Employees or managers may use online chats, forums, and email addresses to harass and target other employees. Employees who work from home have the same legal right to work in a harassment-free environment. If you suspect that your online work environment has become hostile, it’s essential that you discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
Proving a Claim in New York City
In most cases, victims will need to prove that there have been multiple instances of discriminatory harassment that created an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment. The attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP Know how to thoroughly investigate hostile work environments claim. We will help you every step of the way and will advocate for you as we gather records and evidence of the harassment. Courts will consider the following factors to determine whether the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive:
- The frequency of the discriminatory conduct
- The severity of the discriminatory conduct
- Whether it’s physically threatening or humiliating or merely an offensive utterance
- Whether the conduct unreasonably interferes with work performance, and
- The effect of the conduct on the employee’s psychological well-being
The damages you may be entitled to depend on where you file your claim. If you file your claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, you can pursue compensatory and punitive damages along with attorneys’ fees and costs. Compensatory damages are used to put the victim in the same or similar position they would have been in had the hostile work environment never occurred. Compensatory damages include back pay, medical expenses, lost employment benefits, pain, and suffering.
You may be entitled to front pay or reinstatement into the position. Additionally, when you demonstrate that intentional discrimination occurred and the conduct was especially malicious, you may be able to get additional punitive damages. Under New York state law, claimants are entitled to the same compensatory damages but not punitive damages. Finally, in New York City, punitive damages are available. New York City doesn’t cap punitive damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an NYC Hostile Work Environment Attorneys Can Help
Have you been subjected to a hostile work environment in New York City while working remotely or at your in-person workplace? The experienced employment attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.