Serving Clients In Carver County And Throughout The Greater Minneapolis – Saint Paul Region

Minneapolis Hostile Work Environment Lawyers

Employees have the right to work in an environment free from harassment, discrimination and other hostilities. At Neaton & Puklich, P.L.L.P., in Minneapolis, our lawyers represent employees who have been subjected to hostile work environments using their extensive employment law experience and trial skills to protect our clients’ interests.

Have you been forced by your employer to work in a hostile work environment? Our experienced employment law attorneys can help you determine whether you have a viable claim and inform you of all the potential risks, costs and benefits of litigation. Call 952-314-5779 or toll-free at 877-813-4764 for a free initial consultation.

What Defines A Hostile Work Environment?

A number of laws protect employees from hostile work environments, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. But, simply being unhappy at work or having a disagreement with an employer does not constitute a hostile work environment.

It can be difficult to prove that your employer is not taking action to correct a hostile work environment. You may be genuinely experiencing a hostile work environment if you notice or are subject to:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Offensive comments
  • Racial slurs or other racial commentary
  • Discussion of an employee’s religious beliefs in a negative manner
  • Commentary regarding age
  • Uncomfortable or inappropriate physical contact
  • Inappropriate jokes

A hostile work environment is considered to be in place when harassment or discrimination becomes sustained and is so intolerable that a reasonable person would have no choice but to quit.

What Are The Signs Of A Hostile Work Environment?

A toxic work environment can leave you feeling frustrated and confined. If this is your current predicament, hiring a skilled attorney can help determine whether your work stress is a normal occurrence or a response to workplace hostility. Our previous experience handling hostile work environment claims can help you recognize telltale signs of a hostile workplace. Here are a few indicators:

  • You are facing discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act safeguards employees from offensive behavior based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, pregnancy, age, disability and national origin. Experiencing harassment based on these factors may indicate a hostile work environment.
  • You are dealing with sexual harassment: Sexual harassment at work can manifest in diverse forms, such as offensive jokes, unwanted touching, exposure to explicit material or requests for sexual favors. Additionally, witnessing a culture of sexism or discrimination, where inappropriate behavior is normalized or tolerated, can also indicate a toxic work environment. Contrary to popular belief, sexual harassment does not have to involve an offer of promotion or perks. Any indecent behavior targeting sexual orientation can also be a clear sign of a toxic workplace.
  • You are experiencing violence: Experiencing violence in the workplace, whether physical or verbal, is a clear sign of a toxic environment. Even the mere threat of violence can create a hostile atmosphere. No one should have to endure such behavior at work. In that case, it is important to address any instances of unwelcome conduct and violence immediately and seek support from legal counsel to ensure your safety and well-being in your workplace.
  • You are enduring humiliation: Sadly, some think casual insults and discriminative jokes are just part of the company culture. But they may be wrong; no one should accept this treatment. You might be in a hostile environment if you feel embarrassed or frustrated by discriminatory conduct.

Since the law advocates for workplace equality, diversity and inclusion, every employee deserves respectful treatment. Therefore, it is worth taking legal action to address such behavior to ensure a healthy work environment for all employees.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hostile Work Environments

People who are dealing with hostile work environments can be understandably anxious about their situations. Here are the questions our attorneys hear the most:

How do you prove that a hostile work environment exists?

Generally speaking, you have to show that the behavior you’re subjected to is not just toxic or intimidating, but the result of discrimination based on some protected characteristic you have, such as your race, age, religion or disability. You also have to show that your employer failed to do anything to halt the problems – or that you reasonably believed you had to accept the treatment to remain employed.

Documentation is everything. Keep detailed records of any incidents contributing to the hostile environment, including dates, times, locations, the language used, what happened and who was involved. If there were witnesses to certain events, make sure you keep a record of those, too.

Could I be fired for reporting a hostile work environment?

Does it happen? Yes. Is it legal? No. If you tell your employer that you are being subjected to a hostile work environment, your employer cannot take any adverse actions against you – including demoting you, reassigning you, denying you opportunities for advancement, reducing your hours or cutting your pay. All of that is considered retaliation, and that’s illegal.

How long do I have to report a hostile environment case?

Generally speaking, you need to act quickly. Minnesota gives you just one year from the date of the last act of workplace harassment to bring a claim through the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. You have even less time, however, to file a claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Speaking with an experienced lawyer at Neaton & Puklich, P.L.L.P., as soon as you think you may have a claim is wise.

Do Not Wait To Contact An Experienced Workplace Abuse Attorney

Our lawyers represent employees harmed by hostile work environments. Contact us online or call 952-314-5779 or toll-free at 877-813-4764 to schedule a free initial consultation. In many situations, what an employee believes to be signs of a hostile work environment are actually supportive of a different employment law claim for retaliation or sexual harassment, so it is important to discuss your situation with a lawyer to learn more about your options.