Albany Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

The 1963 Civil Rights Act made certain discriminations in the workplace illegal. In New York, no employer can legally discriminate against you on the basis of protected qualities including race, gender, religion, or age. New York’s state laws also put many worker protections into place to ensure fair wages, time and half overtime pay, and adequate break time. They also protect employees against all types of harassment, including sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace. But when one of these legal issues results in an employer allowing or creating a hostile work environment for you, that in itself becomes another actionable violation according to New York State’s Human Rights Laws. If harassment in the workplace causes you discomfort, and you feel that you’re enduring a hostile environment, you may have a claim against your employer. Contact our skilled legal team of Albany employment lawyers at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC,  to discuss the details of your case.

Understanding Hostile Work Environment Claims

When your treatment at work by your supervisor, co-workers, or employer feels hostile or threatening and your employer doesn’t immediately put a stop to the harassment, the offense is actionable and you may file a claim. Even a single action creating a hostile environment may warrant a claim if it’s severe, but in most cases, the hostility must be ongoing and repeated in order for your case to rise to the level of a legal claim for compensation. Some signs of a hostile work environment include:

  • Loud, rudely phrased orders or directions
  • Degrading comments and insults
  • Mockery
  • Name-calling
  • Racial slurs
  • Threats or intimidation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Disparate treatment among employees of equal standing

Not only do the above conditions equal a hostile work environment, but the hostile treatment doesn’t necessarily have to be aimed at you. Even witnessing this treatment of others creates a hostile environment under the law.

Common Causes of Hostile Work Environments

In some cases, the hostility in a work environment may simply derive from an employer, manager, or co-worker’s negative attitude, irritability, or anger. However, a hostile work environment can also arise from other situations, like an employee’s whistleblowing or employment law claims, such as a claim for unpaid overtime or sexual harassment. In this case, the hostility is a direct result of retaliation. It may also occur as a result of an employee using their vacation time, maternity leave, or an extended absence caused by an accident or illness. In some cases, it arises against an employee who has filed a worker’s compensation claim.

There is a necessary imbalance of power between an employer and employee, but when an employer uses this power to intimidate, threaten, or coerce a worker, it’s unlawful and unethical and the employee has a valid legal claim against the employer.

Why Choose Our Albany Law Firm

The law firm of Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC, has over 50 years of experience in employment law in Albany and other areas of Central New York and New York State. We have a firm belief that all employees deserve a peaceful work environment and fair pay for a fair day’s work. If you feel you’re suffering a hostile environment at work, call or contact our attorneys today so we can evaluate your case and determine if you have a claim for damages. Our contingency-based fee policy means we don’t collect payment until we secure compensation on your behalf, and our team of compassionate lawyers will fight aggressively for the justice and compensation you deserve.