Maryland Workplace Harassment Lawyer
While it is true that recent years have seen substantial progress in terms of education about and prevention of harassment in the workplace, the fact remains that an alarming amount of unlawful harassing conduct still occurs. Fortunately, state and federal legislatures enacted statutes that provide significant protections for employees subjected to such unwelcome behavior. If you experience illegal, discriminatory treatment while at work, a Maryland workplace harassment lawyer from the Spiggle Law legal team is available to advocate on your behalf.
Workplace Harassment Fundamentals
As described by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), on-the-job harassment constitutes a type of employment discrimination that is in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). At its heart, harassment in the context of employment involves unwelcome conduct that pertains to color, race, gender, religion, pregnancy status, age, national origin, or disability.
It is important to note that petty irritations or isolated events are not sufficient to qualify as actionable harassment. Illegal harassment occurs when an employee must endure such conduct as a condition of continued employment, or when the conduct is so pervasive or severe that most reasonable individuals would deem the work environment to be hostile, abusive, or intimidating.
Unlawful harassment can happen in a wide array of situations, and a harasser may be a supervisor, a colleague or even a non-employee. Unlawful types of harassment can occur even in the absence of economic injury or dismissal of the complaining victim. Examples of offensive harassment on the job could include but is not necessarily limited to:
- Threatening language and/or name-calling
- Unwanted jokes and slurs
- Physical assault
- Excessive insults, ridicule, and/or mockery
- Displays of offensive pictures or objects
- Interference with completion of job duties
Liability for Workplace Harassment
If a supervisor takes an adverse employment action against you as part of a pattern of harassment, your employer can be held liable. Such an action could involve termination, docking of wages, or a failure to promote a targeted employee.
In situations involving hostile work environment claims, an employer may only avoid being assigned liability for harassing behavior by demonstrating that they made reasonable efforts to prevent or swiftly address instances of harassment and that the complaining employee did not avail themselves of available prevention or correction procedures.
Potential Remedies for Violations of Employee Protections
The damages available to a successful workplace harassment plaintiff depend in large part on the facts of the case. You may be able to seek and win back pay stemming from an adverse employment action, and reinstatement of a position lost due to unlawful harassment is also often a possibility. Punitive damages, compensatory damages for medical or other expenses incurred due to ongoing harassment and attorney fees may be obtainable in certain cases as well.
Navigating EEOC or Maryland Commission on Civil Rights Investigations
The federal EEOC and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights are charged with ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to work in environments free from discrimination and harassment.
Following investigations by these entities, it may in fact be possible to reach a satisfactory resolution between both parties. If that is not the case, however, litigation may be necessary to achieve justice, in which case a seasoned workplace harassment attorney in Maryland could thoroughly review the facts and aggressively pursue fairness on behalf of victims.
Working with a Maryland Workplace Harassment Attorney
The ability to earn a living without fear of illegal, outrageous, or traumatizing behavior from others is something everyone expects and deserves. Unfortunately, not every employer takes appropriate steps to safeguard that right. If you are treated improperly on the job and wish to explore your options, a Maryland workplace harassment lawyer could be your strongest ally. Click here for Spiggle Law Firm’s free online case review and here for the Case Assessment Calculator to start exploring your options.