How to Sue an Employer in a Hostile Work Environment

by Melody Dawn, Demand Media
    Harassment on the job creates a hostile work environment.

    Harassment on the job creates a hostile work environment.

    When we go to work each day, we expect to be able to work in a safe environment free from harassment. If your boss or coworkers are simply being rude to you there is not much you can do, unless you quit or talk to them. However, if you are suffering from some sort of discrimination on the job that creates a hostile workplace for you, you can file charges. Discrimination that would warrant legal action includes unwanted verbal or physical conduct based on age, race, gender, sex, nationality or disability.

    Step 1

    Confront the person or persons who have been harassing you and let them know this is not acceptable or wanted.

    Step 2

    Notify management of the situation and give them time to act. If they have not acknowledged the situation or attempted to resolve it within two or three days, you will have to file a formal complaint.

    Step 3

    File a complaint with your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office. Check with your local office to find out the filing procedures. Visit the location in person and bring any information you have, including a list of witnesses who may have seen the harassment occur. You must file the complaint within 180 days from the time the harassment took place.

    Step 4

    Give the EEOC time to act. They will notify you after they have completed their initial investigation as to whether they will pursue the charge, dismiss it or request mediation. They will also let you know if you have a right to sue.

    Step 5

    Contact a local employment attorney. Ask around for recommendations if you are unsure of who to call. Schedule a meeting to discuss your case.

    Step 6

    Bring all information you have concerning the harassment case including the information you received from the EEOC. If the attorney takes your case, be forthcoming in all requests for documentation.

    Step 7

    Complete your job to the best of your ability, and try to avoid conversation concerning the lawsuit. Follow all advice from your attorney.

    About the Author

    Melody Dawn has been writing since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and USA Today. Her writing focuses on gardening, home improvement, travel, sports, business, parenting and education. Dawn holds a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism.

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