What to do about workplace discrimination and a hostile work environment?

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What to do about workplace discrimination and a hostile work environment?

I work in the state of FL as a contractor or a large company. The other day I had an employee of the company create (1) a hostile work environment (2) use racial identifications when the individual was talking to me (3) threaten my well being. I have witness to this event (written statements) and I have made complaints to the employer. The employer has done nothing about the employee; I feel threatened and discriminated against. What can I do about this individual? Keep in mind I said nothing to the individual while I was enduring this embarrassing event.

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law prohibits racial discrimination or harassment at work, so you may have a cause of action against the employer, for the actions of its employee, especially if the employer did not then take some remedial or corrective action.

Also, physical threats are illegal, and you may have a cause of action against the employee for his threat, and possibly against the employer if they had prior notice that he was racist or violent. (Without notice, they would likely not be responsible for an action of his outside the scope of his employment; presumably, he's not employed to threaten contractors.)

It seems as if it would be worthwhile for you to consult with an employment attorney, to evaluate the strength and potential worth (i.e. how much money?) of your case. Good luck.


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