A hostile work environment is not only challenging to deal with, but it can also be a complicated issue to navigate. If you have been the subject of intimidating and offensive conduct from a supervisor or coworker based on your protected status (such as your race, gender, or age, or because you engaged in activity that is protected under the law) that is intentional, severe, and pervasive enough to interfere with your ability to perform your job, it is crucial you take action.
Here are five ways you can combat harassment and discrimination at work and help prove your case.
How to Deal with Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
Work Together with Your Team
Don’t Blame Yourself
Contact an Employment Law Attorney
You should not have to deal with harassment. Speak up and tell the co-worker, boss, or other offender to stop the unwanted behavior right away. You are protected under federal law against sexual harassment, age discrimination, race discrimination, and other situations that create a hostile work environment.
Take notes when this unacceptable behavior happens. Include dates and details including what happened, where it happened, and any other pertinent information. Save emails or other varieties of documentation that contains any harassing language, offensive jokes, threats or other potentially abusive matters. These types of materials can often be helpful in proving a hostile work environment case.
If you are feeling threatened or are trying to stop harassment in your workplace from a supervisor, co-worker, or even a customer, find your allies and work together as a team. Individuals who are close to you can help to document the behavior and can act as a support network when you are having major difficulties at work. There is strength in numbers.
It is not your fault if this is happening. Blaming the victim is a common tactic of those who behave inappropriately or abusively. Don’t blame yourself for what is happening (or has happened in the past). It is their actions that are the problem, not yours. Harassment and discrimination in the workplace are wrong, and you have the legal right to work in a safe, secure environment that is not hostile.
Employment law attorneys are experienced in protecting employees from workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, bullying and much more. Since not all offenses are actionable under Florida law, they can assist in proving a case of a hostile work environment and help you seek the justice you deserve.
Sometimes, it can be hard to know how to deal with a hostile work environment, but using these strategies will not only help you personally, but have the power to stop the harasser in their tracks, hold them accountable, and keep it from happening again to you or someone else.
Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. if you are dealing with a hostile work environment now or have been retaliated against (such as being demoted or fired) for reporting harassment or abuse. We fight for the rights of people just like you every day and are dedicated to fighting for fairness, justice, and equal rights in the workplace.