Hostile Work Environment

New York City Hostile Work Environment Lawyers Explain Your Rights

Not everyone loves their job. While coworkers aren’t legally obligated to be kind, patient and supportive. Personality conflicts, poor managerial styles and interpersonal conflicts are not protected by Federal and State Laws. If, however, your work environment has become hostile to the point of rendering you incapable of doing your job or has caused demonstrable psychological damage, you may be the victim of a “hostile work environment.” If this be the case, act immediately. Under New York State and New York City employment laws, there is a limited amount of time in which a victimized employee can bring a claim against his or her employer. Unsure what qualifies as an illegally hostile work environment? Review the information on this page and contact a trusted NYC hostile work environment lawyer at the Arcé Law Group (212-248-0120) to have your case reviewed.

What is a Hostile Work Environment in New York City?

On a most basic level, everyone is entitled to a safe, non-discriminatory and fair work environment. Federal and New York City employment laws are in place to ensure employee safety.

First and foremost, under New York City law, a hostile work environment claim is rarely awarded as the result of a single incident. It must be based on the cumulative effects of a number of persistent incidents.

Legally, a workplace qualifies as “hostile” if the following two criteria are met:

  • A workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of the employee’s employment.
  • There is a specific basis for attributing the conduct in question to the employer.

Notice that the discriminatory behavior can be severe OR pervasive — as opposed to severe AND pervasive. In order to qualify as a valid claim, the behavior must only meet one of the criteria. It needs to be severe OR it needs to be pervasive. It need not be both.

Five Factors Used to Determine a NYC Hostile Work Environment Claim

Under New York State law, there are five factors that are used to determine whether the environment in which an employee is working qualifies as legally “hostile.” If you believe that what you are experiencing qualifies as a hostile work environment and are unsure whether to contact a New York City employment attorney at the Arcé Law Group, review the below factors in relation to what you’re experiencing.

Hostile Work Environment Determination Factors:

  • Frequency of the discriminatory behavior
  • Severity of the discriminatory behavior
  • Whether the behavior was physically threatening or humiliating
  • Whether the behavior unreasonably interferes with a worker’s performance at work
  • Whether any psychological harm resulted from the behavior. If so, what was the extent of the harm.
Do I Have a Hostile Work Environment Case?

If, after reviewing the above information, you believe that you have been the victim of a hostile work environment, you are likely wondering if you have a case. State and Federal laws are very clear on what a plaintiff must be able to prove in order for a case to be viable.

Federal law requires employees claiming hostile work environments to demonstrate the following:

  • Their workplace was permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule or insult.
  • That this behavior was severe enough to dramatically alter the conditions of the worker’s employment.
  • The behavior in question has created an objectively hostile work environment.
  • The behavior in question was subjectively perceived as hostile by the plaintiff.
  • The hostility was motivated by the worker’s protected characteristics.

What are your protected characteristics? Under discrimination laws in New York and the rest of the country, employees’ protected characteristics are sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, race, age, religion, national origin or disability.

New York City Human Rights Law and Hostile Work Environments

Thankfully for those in New York, The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has a broader definition they use to determine the liability of an employer in hostile work environment claims. According to the law put forth by the NYCHRL, in order to establish a hostile work environment, the plaintiff does NOT need to demonstrate that the behavior was severe or pervasive. Plaintiffs are only required to demonstrate that he or she has been treated “less well” than other employees and that this treatment was as a result of one of his or her protected characteristics.

Victims Should Contact an NYC Hostile Work Environment Lawyer Today

If you believe you have been the victim of an illegally hostile work environment that has rendered you incapable of performing your job, act now. As previously stated, the state of New York has a limited time frame during which employees can come for to file a complaint against their employers for creating or allowing a hostile work environment to negatively affect their workplace performance. You need not worry about gathering evidence, finding and documenting a paper trail or ensuring your case is viable. All you need to do to start taking control of your life and finding the justice you deserve is to contact a trusted New York employment lawyer at Arcé Law Group. Call us now at 212-248-0120 to speak with one of our experienced workplace discrimination lawyers. Our team works tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

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