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Although some jokes and teasing in the workplace can be acceptable, unwelcome conduct based on the employee’s ethnicity may be illegal harassment. Such behavior can lead to a hostile work environment, harming the employee who is the subject to the harassment, as well as employee morale throughout the company. The hostile work environment lawyers at Parks, Chesin & Walbert have a thorough understanding of employment discrimination law. If you have a legal issue involving a hostile work environment, we can assist you.Hostile Work Environment Lawsuits Based on Ethnicity
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on an employee’s national origin. A worker may not be harassed because of his or her country of origin, ethnicity, ancestry, accent, or association with an ethnic organization. For example, rules requiring employees to speak English at all times can lead to a hostile work environment and are presumed to be a violation of Title VII.
Although hostile work environment claims arising from an employee’s ethnicity are generally brought under Title VII, it is sometimes possible to bring such cases under the Civil Rights Act of 1886. This law generally applies to actions based on race. Race and ethnicity are closely linked, however, and the law has been successfully applied in certain circumstances involving discrimination based on ethnicity. This law allows for the recovery of additional damages not available under Title VII, including damages for emotional pain and suffering.
Harassment based on a worker’s ethnic background or affiliation is a type of discrimination and is prohibited when it becomes so pervasive or severe that it leads to a work environment that is intimidating, abusive, or hostile. Harassment is also illegal when the employee must endure the conduct as a condition of continued employment.
Supervisors, co-workers, vendors, and even customers can be involved in harassing behavior. The employer’s liability for the harassment is dependent upon the status of the harasser. An employer can be liable for harassment by a supervisor that leads to a negative employment action. If the supervisor’s conduct results in a hostile work environment, the employer may escape liability by proving that it used reasonable care to prevent and correct the conduct and that the employee unreasonably did not take advantage of the corrective and preventive measures provided by the employer. When the harassment comes from a non-supervisory employee or non-employee, the employer is only liable if it knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take immediate and appropriate action.
In a hostile work environment lawsuit related to discrimination, remedies available to plaintiffs may include back pay, front pay, reinstatement, compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction against the harassment. The remedies applicable in a given case will depend on the facts of the case and the damages the plaintiff has been subjected to.Georgia Lawyer Available to Assist With Hostile Work Environment Claims
Parks, Chesin & Walbert has dedicated its practice to employment law. Atlanta employment discrimination attorneys have the knowledge and skills to advise you of your rights and obligations related to any issues of discrimination or harassment in your workplace. If you are potentially facing a legal matter involving a hostile work environment based on ethnicity, call 877-986-5529 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with our team.