Helping You Move In The Right Direction

As concern grows over the COVID-19 pandemic… Read More

Going into a hostile work environment each day is never easy, and it can lead to intense mental and emotional trauma if not addressed and/or remedied immediately. If you feel as if you are working in a hostile work environment, it is important to protect yourself legally, especially if you are living in the State of California.

What is a hostile work environment?

The term “hostile” can be extremely subjective, as one individual may feel hostile in an environment where others feel completely welcomed and relaxed. In order for a workplace to qualify as “hostile,” discrimination must violate one or more of the following legal acts:

– The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
– The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
– Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

If you believe your workplace is currently violating one of the acts above, you may require additional legal counsel for your particular situation and case to prove the need for more diversity and inclusion.

Examples of a hostile work environment

Defining a hostile work environment is not always simple or straightforward, as individuals tend to interpret various actions and words of others differently from one another. However, some of the most prevalent examples of a hostile work environment that are likely to trigger additional movements for more diversity and inclusion include:

– An employee or an individual in a position of power making sexual comments or jokes that may be deemed offensive due to gender, race, or religion
– A boss or individual in charge makes homophobic/racist/or sexist remarks to staff and other individuals in places of power with no remorse/guilt/shame

If you are being harassed or discriminated against in your own workplace, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel and guidance. The right legal team can help you to better identify and address any discrimination you are facing while working towards improving the workplace for all of your co-workers altogether.

Throughout California and the rest of the country, more employers are realizing how beneficial it is to have diverse groups of employees. Here are several advantages when employers go out of their way to include a diverse workforce.

Employers hire great workers and retain them

When employers have a diverse workforce, it’s easier to hire and retain top talent. This is because many people, especially younger adults, have learned the importance of diversity and being inclusive throughout their lives. These same people will likely consider how diverse a company is before deciding to work for it.

Companies become more innovative

In a workplace, people need to come together and solve problems. Employers might not get the best results if everyone in an office has the same life experiences. Fortunately, companies can solve this problem by focusing on diversity and inclusion. With a diverse team of employees, a company can better come up with innovative solutions.

Employees enjoy enriching work experiences

Another important benefit of diversity in the workplace has to do with a company’s current employees. When these people work in diverse environments, they can gain value and information from interacting with individuals from all walks of life. In time, learning about others’ experiences can help teach employees a lot more about business and help them serve clients and customers from various backgrounds.

Having a diverse workforce is beneficial for many reasons, but not every business or employee gets to experience all of these benefits. Discrimination on the job is a potential obstacle to reaping the advantages of a diverse workforce. If an employer violated your rights as an employee or failed to protect you from discrimination, you may want to consider speaking with an employment law attorney.

Dealing with a rude co-worker or supervisor can be highly annoying and may interfere with your ability to do your job. While the behavior of a bad boss or co-worker may be offensive, it is frequently not illegal and is, instead, an indicator of a poor management style or workplace culture. However, depending on the reasons for the person’s conduct, it can cross the line into illegal behavior when it targets the victim’s protected characteristics.

When rude behavior constitutes illegal harassment

A supervisor who shouts at employees or belittles them may not be acting illegally but may prompt people to want to quit and find new jobs. However, when a supervisor or co-worker’s conduct is directed at specific people in the workplace based on their protected characteristics, it may be illegal harassment. Under state and federal anti-discrimination laws, employers are forbidden from engaging in discrimination and harassment based on an individual’s:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military status
  • Gender identity
  • Age
  • Genetic information
  • National origin

When a person is targeted for harassment based on one or more of these protected characteristics, the conduct may be illegal. However, it must be pervasive or severe enough to create a hostile work environment in which a reasonable person would find that the actions interfere with his or her ability to perform his or her job. This means that a single incident will generally not be enough to constitute illegal harassment.

Quid pro quo harassment

A second type of harassment that can occur is quid pro quo harassment. This involves a person in a position of authority offering benefits or threatening adverse actions unless the employee agrees to perform sexual favors. Quid pro quo harassment is also illegal.

People who believe that they are being harassed at work because of their protected characteristics should start by filing internal complaints within their companies. If their employers fail to investigate or take corrective action, they may then file discrimination and harassment charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. An attorney with extensive knowledge of employment law may help throughout the entire process, up to and including filing a formal civil complaint in the appropriate court.

California is a state that has in many respects paved the way in the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. When a company embraces greater diversity, it benefits from a wider talent pool, more engaging productivity and an increase in employee morale. Teams in the modern world must prepare themselves for success by implementing sound diversity and inclusion tactics.

Maintaining a culture that respects and encourages diversity

Diversity and inclusion comes with numerous benefits, and it provides greater protections for all of your workers. Developing a workplace that encourages a diversity of backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, genders and races ensures your company presents an inclusive and supportive image to the world.

The employer should lead the charge to protect employees from discrimination. Candidates now look to a company to provide a work environment where they can grow and learn. Fresh perspectives come from hiring people who have varied backgrounds and interests. Diversity leads to greater employee innovation and performance. When a diverse group of individuals works on a problem, a wider range of possibilities and problems are addressed.

Diversity requires an intentional decision to employ workers who come from a wide array of backgrounds. A company that hires based on diversity demonstrates better problem-solving, creativity and innovation.

Creating a flourishing work environment

Policies that ensure hiring managers understand how an applicant’s background can contribute to a better and more diverse company can help a company achieve the goal of creating a better work environment. When a company brings in diverse talent and ideas, it can avoid an approach to thinking that limits creativity. Making inclusion and diversity a part of company culture creates a more productive and enjoyable atmosphere.