Your workplace is where you spend a lot of time working and trying to earn a salary. Your colleagues, superiors, and everyone else are there for the same reasons. However, even though you all have the same goal, your characters, opinions, and attitudes are almost certainly not the same. Because of this, you can argue, discuss, or have constructive conflicts, but you can also face workplace harassment.
Navigating this problem can be tricky because people are often not sure what harassment and bullying is. Very often, these are behaviors that are every day, such as jokes, inappropriate comments, supposedly accidental touches, etc. If it causes mental or physical problems and discomfort, you might be a victim of workplace harassment.
Everything negative you experience at work can affect your health, behavior, and feelings. That is why we need to react to such situations. There are numerous measures to solve and prevent workplace harassment, and one of them is legal action when nothing else helps. Find out how to solve this problem before hiring a lawyer on this web page.
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When to Hire a Lawyer
As said, harassment in the workplace can take many forms, and the most common are sexual harassment, psychological oppression, discrimination, and retaliation. Facing any of these is not at all easy, but covering up and concealing the problem can only make the problem worse. Don’t be afraid to seek legal help if you suffer any form of workplace violence or harassment.
In such situations, a lawyer specialized in employment law, especially for workplace harassment, can advise you on what to do. They will represent you both in front of the court and the employer and face the abuser on your behalf, whether it’s a colleague, a superior, or anyone from your workplace. That’s why it’s good to talk to them and determine a course of action before you do anything.
Knowing Your Situation
To be maximally protected and ready to face abusers legally, you need an experienced lawyer. It should be someone with enough practice and solved claims to help you with their expertise. However, since no case is the same, your attorney must show genuine interest in your situation and find an adequate solution.
When you meet with a lawyer for the first time, you will explain your problem. Then, they will ask you questions about possible ambiguities. They will want to know why you are oppressed, in what way, what reason the abuser may have, how often that happens, etc.
Here’s how to know you’re facing workplace harassment:
You may not feel comfortable answering, but you need to be completely honest and open so that the lawyer can help you. Of course, the prerequisite is that you have found a legal representative with whom you feel comfortable and protected.
Advising on Your Rights
People often keep quiet about being harassed and have problems in the workplace because they don’t know the law well enough. Employment law protects both employers and employees alike. So you’re no less valuable than your employer or superior, from whom you may suffer some form of harassment.
Employment attorneys know the law and have a lot of experience handling cases similar to yours. Based on their practice and knowledge, they can present you with your rights and obligations in case you are a victim of workplace harassment. They’ll also direct you on how to solve this problem legally, whether it’s a lawsuit, filing a report, or gathering evidence against the abuser.
If you want to start legal action against the abuser, maybe your word will be enough to file a claim or make a police report. But to proceed with the process, you need witnesses and evidence to support your claims. It can be any written, audio, or visual materials that indicate the illegal behavior of others towards you.
The employment lawyer will most likely ask you if you have notified your superiors or HR department in your company about harassment. If so, there must be a report about it, and it can be one of the crucial pieces of evidence. In case the employer is the abuser, you must report this problem to the authorities and competent institutions.
Your legal representative can obtain evidence on your behalf. For example, if you are sexually harassed by a co-worker in a room covered by video surveillance, your lawyer has permission to request these recordings from your employer. Based on that, they will suggest a further course of action, help you prepare all documents, and file a claim.
If there are no harsh consequences of harassment, such as physical injuries, deep psychological trauma, or financial damage, lawyers most often suggest an out-of-court settlement. It’s a faster, more efficient, and less stressful process to find a compromise with the abuser or employer, and very often, it has proven to be successful.
The lawyer will negotiate on your behalf, based on a previous agreement with you. They can ask for better working conditions, compensation for the shame, fear, or pain suffered, getting the abuser fired, etc. If the other party doesn’t agree to these conditions, the next step is to go to court.
If you tried to stop workplace harassment in every way before starting legal action, but it didn’t happen, filing a lawsuit is a logical and desirable step. But this decision should not be rushed because, due to skipping certain steps, your lawsuit may be dismissed.
With the help of a lawyer, before legal action, you should file an administrative charge with the state’s Fair Employment Practices agency. You can find out more about this step on this web source. After investigating your case, the agency allows you to file a legal lawsuit (gives you a right to sue). Given the rather tight deadlines, the lawyer should be ready to act.
Workplace harassment can turn your world upside down. But don’t refrain from fighting against it. Find a good Los Angeles lawyer to be by your side and support you not to remain silent and bring abusers to justice.