Harassment is nothing that should be ignored. If you or a loved one has been affected by harassment, consider contacting a qualified legal professional who can guide you to the correct course of action. Should your circumstances call for legal action, Lawsuit Hotline is here to help you with pre-settlement financing.
Many people equate “harassment” with “sexual harassment.” While harassment may be of a sexual nature, creation of a hostile work environment may address any protected category, including race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition to these federally protected categories, a hostile work environment may develop from excessive teasing or discrimination directed at an employee’s appearance, age, or disability. Such discrimination may include “punishing” one employee, such as consistently and unfairly scheduling less desirable hours or duties.
While most harassment claims originate with a higher-ranking employee acting inappropriately toward a subordinate, it is possible for a peer employee to create a hostile environment. In this case, it is vital that management work swiftly to remedy the situation, or risk becoming part of the harassment.
The most important elements of a successful harassment lawsuit are well–documented attempts to inform upper management of the situation, and quick action when a potentially hostile work environment is identified.
Faye was a Customer Service Supervisor for a medium–size company, and responsible for a team of 14 Customer Service Representatives. Within a month, two separate issues came before the supervisory staff of six similarly-sized teams.
The first incident occurred during a team meeting. A rather outspoken Caucasian team member made insensitive comments about the work habits of her own Mexican-American brother-in-law. While the woman making the comments did not overtly direct them at existing team members of Mexican-American descent, she made sweeping generalizations about the work habits of the entire ethnic community.
It was Faye’s responsibility to swiftly pull the Caucasian “talker” aside and explain the inappropriateness of her comments. Faye then informed her manager and Human Resources of the incident, and the resulting conversation with the offending party. Faye took these steps in order to “nip it in the bud” before one insensitive comment became a complaint of a hostile work environment. Failure to do so could have left Faye, and the company, open to a harassment claim if such comments were repeatedly tolerated.
The second incident involved sexual harassment. A female CSR was repeatedly approached and emailed by another female CSR of a different sexual orientation. When the first in–person suggestion of a romantic date was refused, the second CSR continued to send suggestive emails to the first CSR.
When the team supervisor was informed of the contacts, he immediately consulted Human Resources and was advised to set an appointment for a counseling session with HR personnel. As in the first example, failure to take action after being informed of an incident would leave the supervisor, and the company, open to an accusation of ignoring and/or participating in sexual harassment.
Lawsuit Hotline specializes in the funding of settled and pre-settled harassment lawsuits. During the funding process, Lawsuit Hotline requests some of the case documentation, underwriting evaluates the lawsuit to determine whether funding can be extended, and if approved, a contract is issued for the injured party and his/her attorney to sign. The injured party’s attorney then repays the lien when the case is resolved. All funding is non recourse, which means that if for any reason, there is no recovery on the case, then no money is owed back.