According to Ohio’s Fair Employment Guide for Business Owners, hostile work environments occur when an unwelcome behavior is based on a protected class and is so severe or pervasive that it interferes with the victim’s ability to perform their job. The harassment can come from a coworker, multiple coworkers, a boss, or the employer and as long as it is severe and pervasive in a way that impacts the employee’s ability to function at work, it is considered a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment lawsuit is a way to hold the people responsible for creating such stress accountable for their actions. A Toledo hostile work environment attorney at Coffman Legal, LLC can assist you with compiling evidence and submitting a claim if you have been forced to work in a hostile environment.

What are the Protected Classes?

In order for a victim to claim they were in a hostile work environment, they must prove that they were being harassed based on being part of a protected class. It is enough for an employee to perceive that they are being harassed in order to file a claim. Protected classes include:

  • Color;
  • Race;
  • Religion;
  • National origin;
  • Sex, including LGBTQ status;
  • Disability;
  • Pregnancy status;
  • Age if older than 40; and
  • Military status.

As The Balance Careers points out, a hostile work environment claim is a federal claim of workplace discrimination. While there may be a very obnoxious coworker who frequently distracts you and makes work near impossible, they do not create a hostile work environment unless they are harassing you based on one of the above traits. Hostile work environments do not include a one-time offense or comment made. It has to be pervasive. Often an employee has already tried to address the situation with their boss or the human resources staff to no avail.

Examples of a Hostile Work Environment

  • Off color jokes regarding a person’s race, religion, sex, or sexual preference;
  • Unwanted and repeated sexual advances;
  • Unwanted and repeated physical contact;
  • Discussing inappropriate sexual behaviors;
  • Commenting about a person’s appearances;
  • Crude comments or behaviors;
  • Intimidating an employee because of their protected status;
  • Teasing an employee about their sexual status;
  • Making fun of an employee for their culture or religion; and
  • More.

Even when the employer or supervisor is not the one making the work environment hostile, they can be held accountable for not addressing the situation. If there is not enough evidence to support a hostile work environment claim, you may still be able to seek compensation through a harassment claim.

Call a Toledo Hostile Work Environment Attorney

Depending on who the offender is within the workplace that is making life intolerable, going to your employer with a claim of harassment may not solve the problem or even make it worse. If you believe you are in a hostile work environment, contact our Toledo attorneys at Coffman Legal, LLC. We will assist you in collecting evidence to support your claim and ensure you get the best compensation possible for the stress you have endured. Call us at 614-949-1181 to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Coffman Legal Today

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