- Legal Services
For too many people, the specter of harassment can make going to work miserable and sometimes intolerable. Facing harassment alone can be difficult and scary. That is why, under both federal U.S. and Kentucky laws, employees are responsible for curtailing severe and pervasive harassment occurring in the workforce. You have the right to force them to do so, or seek compensation for their failure to act.
An experienced Kentucky workplace harassment lawyer can help you through that process and assist in putting an end to the dread of going to work in a hostile and intimidating environment.
The same laws that prevent an employer from firing or refusing to hire an individual based on their race, sex, or age also prohibit workplace harassment based on those characteristics. Federal and state law additionally prohibits workplace harassment based on disability, religion, national origin, and color.
Harassment can come in many forms, including:
But to form the basis of a legal action, harassment must be either severe or pervasive, and based on one of the characteristics protected by U.S. and Kentucky law mentioned above. Indeed, workplace harassment must create an atmosphere of intimidation, create a hostile work environment, or be offensive to reasonable people in order to sustain an official complaint or lawsuit.
Legally speaking, simple obnoxious and irritating behavior will generally not rise to the level of harassment unless it is particularly persistent. However, if the harassment being experienced is enough to interfere with the work and well-being of an employee, that person should consider meeting with a Kentucky workplace harassment lawyer to determine the strength of their case.
Illegal workplace harassment is not an employee’s problem – it is the employer’s. And an employer is not just responsible or his or her own actions, but the actions of everyone in the workplace, even non-employees in some situations.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other similar U.S. and Kentucky laws hold employers accountable for harassment by supervisors if the employer knew about the harassment and did nothing to stop it. This remains true, unless the harassed employee chose not to participate in any of the employer’s attempts to correct the situation.
Harassment by non-supervisors – including co-workers, contractors, agents of the employer, and, in some cases, customers — can also form a basis for action against an employer if the employer knew or should have known about their actions and failed to pursue corrective measures.
We understand that workplace harassment is a serious matter and, thankfully, so does the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Kentucky Human Rights Commission. Our Kentucky workplace harassment lawyers will work with you to document the offending conduct, build a case, and file a complaint to be investigated by those agencies.
Depending on the outcome of that investigation, you may be able to reach a settlement with your employer that provides compensation for the harassment you were subjected to or alters your working conditions. If no settlement can be reached, you may be able to seek relief in court, including punitive and compensatory damages.
You have a right not to suffer from illegal workplace harassment. We can help you protect that right and get you back to work with the dignity the law affords.