Hostile Work Environment Attorney, Temecula, CA
Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit or Workers’ Compensation Claims?
You spend numerous hours at work throughout the week and it’s supposed to be a place of safety and comfort for you. However, there are many situations that can arise that make it difficult for you to do the things you need to do to complete your daily tasks. In some matters, you may face a hostile work environment. In others, you may suffer a workplace injury and need to file for workers’ compensation benefits.
In any situation, you need to fully understand what rights and options you have to move forward. Whether you need to pursue civil action through hostile work environment cases or you need to navigate California’s workers’ compensation laws, you can count on our team to help you throughout the process.
What Behaviors are Considered Criteria for a Hostile Work Environment?What is a hostile work environment? By definition, a hostile work environment is one where harassment, discrimination, bullying or other actions exist making it impossible for you to complete your job duties. Unfortunately, these situations are more common than you may think and they can arise in nearly any industry.
You must understand that these types of situations are much different than workers’ compensation claims, but they can overlap should the mental anguish from a hostile work environment lead to an injury on the job. Before you move forward with any type of legal action, though, you need to recognize some of the most common examples of a hostile work environment and how they can impact your day-to-day duties.
Hostile Work Environment Harassment
Harassment of any kind should not be tolerated in the workplace. Unfortunately, many individuals are treated a certain way because of their characteristics - of which many of them are protected classes in the state of California. This means you cannot be treated a certain way at work because of your race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or numerous other traits.
Harassment, however, can be as simple as teasing. It can also be a lot more serious, with some forms of a hostile work environment involving sexual harassment. Sexual harassment occurs in multiple ways, including:
For instance, you may be a victim of sexual harassment if your coworker, supervisor, or employer comes to ask you a question and touches your shoulder. If this touch makes you feel uncomfortable, you may have a case against the person responsible.
Hostile Work Environment Bullying
You may find yourself being bullied at work because of your characteristics as well. Bullying often involves multiple people picking on you, teasing you, or pranking you. While many may think this is a harmless act between coworkers, it can be traumatic. Bullying can make a workplace unbearable, and you may decide to leave your job as a result of other people’s actions.
How Do I Pursue a Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Settlement After Workplace Violence?
You may be wondering, “can I sue my employer for creating a hostile work environment?” A hostile work environment lawyer may help you understand your rights and options. However, there are numerous factors that come into play in these situations, many determined by the party or parties directly responsible for creating the hostile work environment. We’ll help you understand the different people you may hold accountable for the actions against you.
Before you move forward with legal action, you must recognize the various steps necessary to prove that a hostile work environment and led to you suffering losses.
How to Prove a Hostile Work Environment
Before you start the process of taking legal action, you should be sure to report the incident. Of course, you must know what a hostile work environment is and who is responsible. Then you can report the situation to your supervisor, Human Resources department, and your employer. Depending on the people involved, you may feel as though you can’t report a hostile work environment. There are also government agencies who oversee these types of situations and can help investigate your workplace.
When a hostile work environment involves discrimination, you have rights through federal and state laws, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and more. You should also know that there are laws in place that prevent your employer from retaliating against you for reporting a hostile work environment.
You cannot be fired, demoted, or paid less because you reported the incident. Even though California is an at-will employment state, if your employer fires you for whistleblowing, you have legal rights to remedy the situation.
Workplace Violence and Physical Altercations at Work
Did you know that workplace violence is one of the most common causes of injuries on the job. This includes permanent disabilities and fatal injuries. When a hostile work environment becomes physical, you can take legal action against the same parties responsible for the hostile work environment. Just like a personal injury case, you can hold the attacker accountable for expenses associated with your damages, including:
In these cases, punitive damages may exist. This type of compensation is available to punish wrongdoers for their actions whenever the injuries they cause are malicious or intentional. For instance, if your employer intentionally causes you harm in a physical altercation, the court may award you punitive damages to prevent the employer from acting in the same way in the future.
How Do These Cases Differ from Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In hostile work environment lawsuits, you’re directly taking action against the person responsible for causing you harm. You are filing a lawsuit with the hopes of holding someone accountable for their wrongdoing. Workers’ compensation is different in that it allows you to file a claim with your employers’ insurance to recover benefits relating to an injury you sustain on the job. Workers’ compensation settlements are only for qualified injuries, including neck pain, neck injuries, back injuries, head injuries, and ongoing or terminal medical conditions.
A workers’ comp lawyer can help you understand your rights and if you qualify to receive benefits.
What are California’s Workers’ Compensation Laws?
While you may not need a workers’ comp attorney at the initial onset of a claim, you’ll see quickly that the laws can be complex and having legal representation can only benefit your claim. Before you file a claim, though, you need to take the necessary steps to protect your rights after the workplace injury. These steps include the following:
Workers’ compensation benefits can be critical after you suffer an injury on the job. You may find yourself in a challenging position, unable to work, and dealing with the financial hardships that often follow these situations. Many people overlook the importance of workers’ comp benefits, but it’s vital for you to recognize just how helpful they can be. Workers’ comp benefits can help you cover the following expenses:
There may be other expenses that you can recover, but you should speak with a workers’ comp attorney to better understand your rights and options.
Unfortunately, there are many situations in which the insurance company is quick to deny workers’ compensation claims. Their primary focus is protecting their own profits and paying out as little as possible to claimants who suffer significant injuries on the job. A denial may come if you don’t report the incident in a timely manner or if you miss important information in the documentation you file.
Don’t give up, though. A denial is not the final say regarding a workers’ compensation claim. You may be able to appeal the denial and go through the process with more information to pursue a more favorable outcome. You should work with someone who can explain the process to you, build your evidence and paperwork in an accurate and effective manner, and go the extra mile to hold the insurance company to their word after a serious work injury.
Our Temecula workers’ compensation attorney knows just how devastating this situation can be for you and your family. A workplace injury can leave you in a vulnerable position, unsure of where your income will come from and what your boss will do should you file a workers’ compensation claim. You have the legal right to pursue benefits for a workplace injury, and if your boss tries to retaliate after you file a claim, you can take additional legal action to protect your rights as an employee in California.
At The Law Offices of Robert Ozeran, we have helped countless individuals through the claims-filing process and legal matters following a workplace injury or hostile work environment. We’ll be there by your side to give you a voice, helping you provide the accurate and necessary information to secure a positive outcome.
If you need to speak with an attorney about your situation, our firm offers free consultations. You can speak with a member of our team without financial commitment. We know you’re already dealing with a financial hardship, and we don’t want to add to that, so you can get answers risk free. We also operate on contingency fees. When you secure our representation, you don’t pay anything unless we win on your behalf. Our fees come out as a percentage of the benefits you receive.
Call us today to discuss your rights and we’ll be ready to help you. Our top priority is safeguarding your rights, explaining your options, and guiding you throughout the process so the insurance company or your employer cannot take advantage of your rights.