At the Orange County law firm of Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP (BKCG), we routinely represent employers across the state who find themselves embroiled in lawsuits over allegedly creating or tolerating hostile work environments. Our attorneys are skilled trial lawyers who have established a respected reputation for success in employer defense cases of all kinds.
Understanding The Legal Definition
Many employees do not understand what the law considers a "hostile work environment." They may believe that not receiving enough positive recognition or working under a temperamental manager is enough to qualify. It is not. Among other factors, the legal definition of a hostile work environment involves:
- Discrimination or harassment against an employee on the basis of his or her age, race, disability, gender or another protected classification.
- Behavior that is pervasive and long-lasting. One or two offensive remarks are not sufficient. In addition, if the employee reports the problem to Human Resources and the company implements corrective measures, the company should not be held liable.
- Actions that are severe enough to disrupt the employee's job or career progress to a significant extent.
- Management that was aware of the ongoing behavior and failed to effectively curtail it.