Employment Law

Can I Bring a Lawsuit for any Kind of Hostile Work Environment?

5a445ca1ddd53db29536_66707ca64170446530d2_fred.jpg
5a445ca1ddd53db29536_66707ca64170446530d2_fred.jpg
No, only certain types of harassment complaints are protected by law. If your harasser, however, has subjected you to a hostile work environment because of your membership in a recognized “protected class," then you may bring a claim for harassment.  
 
In other words, if it would be true for you to say: "My supervisor is harassing me because of my [race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment), marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information liability for military service, or mental or physical disability, including AIDS and HIV related illnesses], then you have a claim for unlawful harassment.
 
However, if you only complain that you are being picked on because the supervisor has a short temper or doesn’t like you, or any other reason unrelated to your membership in a “protected class,” then you may not have sufficient facts to support a claim of an unlawful hostile work environment.
 
 
There’s a two-step process involved in determining whether you have a viable claim. The first step focuses on whether the bad conduct is severe or pervasive. Is the conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive such that a reasonable person would believe that the conditions of employment have been altered and that the work environment is intimidating, hostile or abusive?  
 
Severity focuses on the magnitude and seriousness of the impact of the harassing conduct or statements. Pervasiveness focuses upon whether the conduct permeates the work place and is often demonstrated by how often the conduct occurs.
 
Second, did the harassing conduct occur because of your membership in a recognized “protected class?”  In other words, did the conduct occur because the harasser was prejudiced against me due to my race, religion, age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, age, etc., or did the conduct occur because the harasser was interested in me sexually?
 
One example of unlawful harassment would be a co-worker frequently complimenting a co-worker on her figure or other parts of her anatomy. Another example could involve repeated disparaging comments directed more against female employees than male employees. Yet another could involve a supervisor frequently needling an older employee because of his age, implying that the worker is not up to doing his job because of age.
 
If the conduct is severe and or pervasive and is based on your membership in a protected class you may well have a viable claim. It is important to call an employment attorney as soon as possible if you are experiencing harassment in the workplace or if you have any questions regarding workplace harassment or discrimination.  
 
Whether you are an employer looking for assistance with employment law issues, or an employee who feels unfairly treated, Fred Shahrooz Scampato can provide you with the benefit of his over twenty years experience in employment law. His goal is to prevent workplace problems from becoming costly litigation. He can be reached at Scampato@aol.com, Scampato@njlaborlaw.com or 908-301-9095. Visit his website at www.njlaborlaw.com.
 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Due to Popular Demand, Union County Offers More CPR Classes

April 21, 2018

ROSELLE PARK, NJ  —  Due to popular demand, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced that two additional CPR training classes have been added in May. Three sessions were previously scheduled in April and are already fully booked.

All classes are open to the general public.

“I encourage all Union County residents to learn basic first aid ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_847ee9151bdce789833a_y

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Camp Open House

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Tamaques Park, Brightwood Park & Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield 2018 Spring Clean-Up

Giving Back Government Green

Carousel_image_28ada9d80beb9d6466b0_picture2_simpler

Sat, April 21, 1:30 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Aquatics Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

The Secret to Managing Insulin for Weight Loss

April 21, 2018

Not too long ago I was sitting with my good friend, Charlie, and I asked him, "Hey Charlie, what's the easiest way to get rid of belly fat?"

"C'mon, Tony, you know the answer to that question." I was pretty sure I did, but I wanted to see if he knew something I didn't. Charlie continued, "The secret to losing belly fat and keeping it off is simply a matter ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...