If you go to work with a feeling of dread that you might experience harassment, threats, or an all around uncomfortable work environment, you might be the victim of a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment, physical harassment, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, age discrimination and more are all covered by federal and state regulations. Today, our workers’ compensation attorneys will define hostile work environments, discuss whether or not they qualify victims for workers’ compensation claims, and touch on the impact of workers’ comp claims as a cause for workplace discrimination.
What is a Hostile Work Environment in Monmouth County, NJ?
Pursuant to the definition offered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a “hostile work environment” is a legal term referring to a situation where employees are exposed to discrimination or harassment. In order to be a victim of a hostile work environment, an individual does not necessarily need to be the direct victim of discrimination or harassment, but may be anyone who has been impacted by the inappropriate conduct. Perpetrators of offensive conduct can be the victim’s boss, a supervisor of another department, a co-worker, an agent of the employer, or even a non-employee.
Unlike workers’ compensation or personal injury claims, workplace harassment does not need to include an economic impact to the victim to be considered a valid claim of discrimination. Examples of hostile work environments may include situations including but not limited to:
- Racial Discrimination
- Sexual Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Retaliation Discrimination (including workers’ comp claims as we will discuss below)
- Special Needs Discrimination
- Physical Harassment
- Sexual Harassment
- Disability Harassment
Red Bank Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Discuss When Hostile Environments Lead to Workers’ Comp Claims
Workers’ compensation claims are most frequently associated with physical injury suffered on the job. However, New Jersey regulations also protect employees who have developed mental health issues as a result of work related activities. This can include law enforcement, firefighters, or other employees who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the strenuous nature of their jobs.
Those who qualify for workers’ compensation may also include victims of hostile work environments who have developed ongoing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, agoraphobia, and more. For example, it is well documented that victims of sexual abuse have a high risk for mental illness both immediately after an incident and for years to come. If a hostile work environment has led you to require medical treatment for a mental health issue, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a workers’ compensation claim.
Freehold Discrimination Lawyers: Impact of Workers’ Compensation Claims on Workplace Atmosphere
On the flip side of the coin, what about employees who have already filed for workers’ compensation claims? It is illegal for employers to treat you any differently if you have filed any kind of claim against the company. You may be a victim of discrimination if you have been terminated, passed over for promotion or advancement, demoted, or if your pay is decreased after filing a workers’ compensation claim.
As mentioned earlier, any form of discrimination may be considered a hostile work environment as well. While workers’ compensation and hostile work environments are certainly not the same, they both may come into play for New Jersey employees who are suffering discrimination or harassment.
Contact Our West Long Branch Hostile Work Environment Attorneys Today
The workers’ compensation attorneys of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have extensive experience serving employees suffering through hostile work environments in local New Jersey communities including West Long Branch, Red Bank, Freehold, Asbury Park, Middletown, Howell, and all of Monmouth County. Our legal team is led by founding partner Charles Uliano, one of only a handful of attorneys in the state to have earned New Jersey Supreme Court dual certification as both a Certified Criminal and Civil Trial Attorney. If you or a loved one believes they may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim, lean on our experience to seek the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Contact us online or by calling our West Long Branch offices at (732) 440-3950 today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your hostile work environment and how we can best serve your individual needs.