Both federal and state laws prohibit different types of discrimination in the workplace. One form of unlawful discrimination is harassment that creates a hostile work environment for either the target of the harassment or others who witness the behavior. There are specific legal standards that define when teasing or other behavior crosses the line and creates a hostile work environment, so it is important for anyone involved in a harassment claim to consult with an employment attorney who is thoroughly familiar with discrimination laws in Nevada.
At the law office of HKM Employment Attorneys, we have helped clients on both sides of hostile work environment claims. We regularly represent the rights of victims of harassment in actions against their employers, as well as represent employers facing allegations of allowing a hostile work environment. If you think you may have a harassment case, call our office to discuss your situation today.
Types of Harassment
If someone at work teases you because you said something awkward or because you are wearing a particular outfit, it may be hurtful but it may not be against the law. In order for harassment to be legally actionable, it must be based on certain factors under Nevada law, including the following:
- Sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
- National origin.
So, for example, if someone made fun of your clothes simply because they didn’t like them, that is not unlawful. However, if they made comments about attire you wore in like with your ethnicity or religious beliefs, it may be considered to be unlawful harassment. Similarly, if you made an awkward comment, a comment in response would likely not be actionable. If someone made fun of what you said due to an accent, language barrier, or speech disability, however, you may have a legal claim.
When Is a Work Environment Hostile?
These cases become even more complicated because a single comment regarding a protected factor likely will not create a hostile work environment under the law. Instead, the behavior must be one of the following:
- Repeated or pervasive;
- Seriously offensive (if it is a single incident);
- An interference with your ability to perform your job.
If any of the above are true, you should complain to your employer about the behavior and your employer should take immediate and sufficient action to make it stop. In addition, your employer is prohibited by the law from retaliating against you in any way for complaining about harassment or for participating in an investigation regarding a hostile work environment.
Contact Our Las Vegas Hostile Work Environment Attorneys For a Consultation Today
Whether you are an employee or employer, accusations of a hostile work environment should be taken very seriously. At HKM Employment Attorneys, we know that these cases can be complicated and that a lot can be at stake. We will evaluate your legal rights and work to protect them throughout the legal process. To discuss your particular situation, call our Las Vegas employment lawyers today.