I am in a hostile work environment and know I can prove it but what is the process and money for some thing like this?

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I am in a hostile work environment and know I can prove it but what is the process and money for some thing like this?

I can’t afford a large lawyer bill.

Asked on November 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The most important thing to bear in mind that except as discussed below, your employer (or individual managers, or even coworkers) has the right to make your work environment as hostile as it likes. That is, there is NO legal prohibition on a workplace being hostile--unprofessional, insulting, rude, even cruel--and so there is no legal claim for compensation for experiencing a hostile work environment. It is simply something that many people have to put up with.

The exception is that the hostility cannot be directed at you due to your inclusion in one of a small number of protected categories. The main ones are race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability (some states add additional categories, like national origin or sexual orientation). If, for example, you are experiencing hostility because you are, say, a woman, or African American, that is illegal; in that case, you may have a claim for workplace discrimination, and could try contacting either your state equal/civil rights agency, or the federal EEOC, to file a complaint.

But if the hostility is not based on hostility towards a protected category--for example, your boss either is simply a mean-spirited jerk, or dislikes you personally--there is nothing you can do about it other than seek other employment.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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