Virginia Workplace Harassment Lawyer
Considering how much time a typical employee must spend on the job each week, the existence of harassment in the workplace can be an extremely onerous burden to bear. As such, federal and state statutes exist protect individuals from this type of conduct and provide an avenue for recourse when it does occur. If you experience illegal treatment at work, you could benefit from talking to a Virginia workplace harassment lawyer at the Spiggle Law Firm with the tools and experience necessary to pursue justice.
Basic Facts About Harassment in the Workplace
It is important for every worker to know that harassment on the job is prohibited in Virginia by a number of state and federal laws. These include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act on the federal side and the Virginia Human Rights Act here in the Commonwealth.
Central to on-the-job harassment is unwelcome conduct that involves disparagement related to your gender, color, race, national origin, religious beliefs, disability, or a similar characteristic. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Virginia Division of Human Rights are responsible for investigating complaints about workplace harassment against employers with 15 workers or more and helping resolve cases involving such activity.
Defining Illegal Harassment
Isolated events or insignificant slights will not be enough to sustain a complaint of illegal harassment. Rather, unlawful conduct occurs when offensive conduct is of such a pervasive and serious nature that a reasonable person would feel that it creates a hostile work environment. Potentially actionable workplace harassment can encompass a wide range of conduct, including:
- Physical assaults
- Verbal threats
- Slurs and jokes
- Insults, ridicule, and mockery
- Visual displays of offensive photos, objects or materials
- Actual interference with job performance
Prohibited acts that warrant the attention of a Virginia workplace harrassment lawyer also include quid pro quo scenarios in which you must put up with harassment or abuse as a condition of employment, promotion or the like.
Determination of Employer Liability
Liability for workplace harassment is often easy to identify when a supervisor subjects you to an adverse job-related action within the context of ongoing harassment. This could involve unjust termination, a failure to pay wages, or a refusal to grant a promotion.
However, allegations of a hostile work environment can be challenged by your employer if they can prove they made reasonable attempts to quickly handle or prevent harassment and that you did not utilize corrective or preventive tools made available to you.
Why You May Want to Pursue Legal Action
Workplace harassment can put your livelihood in real jeopardy. As such, it often makes sense to aggressively pursue financial recovery.
Depending on the facts at issue, it may be possible for you to receive back pay, reinstatement of lost positions, compensatory damages for medical or mental health costs incurred, and—in some situations—punitive damages and attorney fees. An experienced Virginia workplace harassment attorney may be able to determine precisely what remedies are applicable and obtainable in your case.
Pursue Justice with a Virginia Workplace Harassment Attorney’s Help
Whether helping claimants navigate the procedural frameworks of the EEOC and the Virginia Division of Human Rights or litigating in the courtroom, a knowledgeable Virginia workplace harassment lawyer could make all the difference in securing a just resolution to a painful situation. If you faced or are currently facing unlawful treatment as an employee and are ready to fight for fairness, click here for a free online case review by an attorney with Spiggle Law Firm.