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Phoenix Workplace
Harassment Lawyer

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Your place of work should be an environment in which you feel safe. Besides any expected hazards in your chosen profession, you should not feel scared stepping into work each day. Unfortunately, despite the great strides we have made in civil rights protections in the U.S., there are still far too many instances of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. If you have been victimized by your coworkers, managers, employer, or even patrons of the business, you may have a workplace harassment case. A Phoenix workplace harassment lawyer has the expertise to determine whether the harassment you have suffered constitutes a legal violation and can get you the justice you deserve.

Have You Faced Harassment in the Workplace?

Facing harassment in the workplace can be extremely disturbing. Sometimes, the harassing behavior becomes so frequent and severe that your job performance may begin to suffer. If you find yourself in this unpleasant position, it’s best to contact a Phoenix workplace harassment lawyer. An experienced employment lawyer can review the details of your situation and help you resolve your claim and secure a hostile-free working environment. Your attorney can also determine whether you may be eligible for compensation caused by working in a hostile environment.

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Protected Classes in the United States

Arizona is an at-will employment state. This means an employer can terminate a worker’s employment at any time for any reason except an unlawful reason, such as your membership in a protected class. Here is a look at federally protected classes in the United States:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity)
  • Pregnancy status
  • Family status (including whether you are married and/or have children)
  • Age (workers age 40 and older)
  • Disability (physical and mental)
  • Genetic information (including family medical history)
  • Veteran or military service status

The Arizona Civil Rights Act provides additional protections for members of these protected classes. For example, whereas a small business with fewer than 15 employees would not be subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for instances of sexual harassment, ACRA reduces the employee minimum to a single employee, making it unlawful for an employer of any size to subject an employee to sexual harassment in Arizona.

Workplace Harassment Examples

Harassment in the workplace may unfold in many different ways. While some incidents may be more subtle or occur behind the scenes, others take the form of blatant behaviors that are more obvious. Here are some specific examples of harassment in the workplace:

  • Derogatory Jokes: Unflattering, biting remarks and jokes about a person’s age, religion, race, or gender that are not addressed and stopped by your employer constitute harassment.
  • Unwanted Sexual Advances: Women account for most cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault, but men can also be victims of inappropriate touching or behavior.
  • Retaliation: This often occurs after an employee reports concerns of workplace harassment and experiences further harassment or a change in the terms of their employment for reporting the hostile work environment.

It can be difficult to discern whether the workplace harassment you have endured constitutes a hostile work environment under the law. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced Phoenix workplace harassment attorney as soon as you feel your workplace environment has become hostile.

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What Is Considered a Hostile Work Environment?

Determining whether the workplace harassment you are experiencing constitutes an unlawful hostile work environment can be difficult. The law is not designed as a general civility code and many generally abusive working situations are not considered unlawful.

To be considered unlawful workplace harassment the conduct must be

  1. Unwanted
  2. Severe and pervasive enough to alter the terms and conditions of your employment
  3. Based on your membership in a protected class.

How to File a Workplace Harassment Claim in Phoenix

Bosses, supervisors, and co-workers are prohibited by law from harassing you based on your membership in the protected classes listed above. Additionally, it is the duty of your employer to protect you from harassment in a hostile work environment created by customers, clients, and other individuals who enter your place of work or that you are required to interact with as part of your employment. If you are the victim of workplace harassment, it is best to take action immediately. If you ask the person(s) to stop the harassing behavior but it persists, then the steps below can help.

  1. Obtain a copy of your employer’s anti-harassment policy. If the policy is not outlined in your employee handbook or on the employer’s website, then request a copy of the policy from your human resources manager or a supervisor.
  2. Follow the steps listed in the anti-harassment policy. Common steps include speaking with a supervisor, filing a complaint, and other options for reporting the behavior. If there is no anti-harassment policy, ask for a supervisor’s help to stop the behavior.
  3. Contact an experienced workplace harassment attorney. Many employers fail to take appropriate action to address employee’s concerns of workplace harassment. An experienced employment attorney can help you correct the hostile work environment you are facing, get you the compensation you are entitled to, and protect you from retaliation for pursuing a remedy to your hostile work environment.

When Is the Right Time to Call a Phoenix Workplace Harassment Lawyer?

Your claim is more likely to be taken seriously if you seek the guidance of an experienced attorney. In general, you should call a Phoenix workplace harassment lawyer as soon as possible after these three things have happened:

  • A boss, colleague, or other employee subjects you to hostile conduct based on your membership in a protected class.
  • The conduct is severe enough that it is affecting your performance or ability to do your job.
  • You report the harassing behavior to your employer and they fail to take appropriate action to correct it.

A knowledgeable employment attorney can determine whether you have a case. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

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frequently asked question

Can I Sue My Employer for Harassment?

Yes. You have the right to file a civil lawsuit against your employer for any suffering and damages you have endured due to the harassing behavior. However, there are certain steps you must take before you can file a lawsuit in state or federal court. An experienced employment attorney can help you through this process and ensure your right to a hostile-free work environment is protected.

How Do You Prove Harassment at Work?

Collecting concrete evidence of harassment can be difficult for many reasons. First, harassing behavior is usually unpredictable and fleeting. Even if you are able to gather evidence to support your claim, the harasser may brush it off or deny it. They may insist the behavior only happened once or was only a joke with no malicious intent. They may also claim the incident was not serious and certainly did not impede your ability to do your job.

There is no step-by-step guide for proving harassment at work. However, here are some measures you can follow to mount a strong case that you have been harassed while at work:

  • Map Out a Timeline: Pinpoint when the harassment began and how frequently it occurs. Provide specific dates and incidents if possible.
  • Collect Evidence: Gather text messages, social media comments, and emails that show how the harasser is treating you.
  • Talk to Witnesses: Securing testimony from people who have witnessed the harassing behavior is often compelling.
  • Establish a Pattern: You can prove that you were subjected to a hostile work environment based on your membership in a protected class by demonstrating that similarly situated colleagues in your same protected class also experienced the hostile treatment or that colleagues outside your protected class did not experience hostile treatment.
  • Record Every Incident: Take detailed notes of every incident you believe creates the hostile work environment and capture as much detail as possible.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Claim of Workplace Harassment?

No. Despite the fact that Arizona is an at-will state, an employer cannot legally fire you for filing a workplace harassment claim. If an employer fires you for this reason, your attorney can help you file a wrongful termination claim based on this unlawful retaliation.

The best way to prove harassment at work and protect your rights is to hire a Phoenix workplace harassment lawyer. A skilled lawyer can collect and organize the necessary evidence to support your claim. With a dedicated employment rights lawyer handling your case, you can rest assured knowing you have done everything you can to protect yourself from further harassment in the workplace and get the justice you deserve.

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