The U.S. Department of Labor considers verbal attacks to be “workplace violence,” and in some circumstances, it’s illegal—but what is verbal harassment at work, and has it happened to you?
If it has, you may want to talk to a verbal harassment attorney serving Glendale, Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. You could be entitled to financial compensation.
What is Verbal Harassment at Work?
Some types of verbal harassment fall under the definition of workplace violence, which is “intended to control or cause, or is capable of causing, death or serious bodily injury to oneself or others, or damage to property. Workplace violence includes abusive behavior toward authority, intimidating or harassing behavior, and threats.”
This type of harassment can include:
Verbal harassment can take place in front of other people or in private. While verbal abuse isn’t illegal on its own, it is illegal when it’s coupled with sexual harassment or racial discrimination, or when it’s part of another type of harassment or discrimination.
Under federal law, employers can’t discriminate against someone—or allow other employees to discriminate against someone—for:
- Sexual orientation
- Medical conditions
- Military or reserve status
- The use of lawful leave rights (such as FMLA)
Workers’ Rights to Protection From Verbal Harassment in the Workplace
Under federal and state laws, workers have protection from verbal harassment that involves discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, this type of harassment is incredibly common—the U.S. Workforce Bullying Institute recently released data that says as many as 19 percent of Americans have suffered abusive conduct at work. Not all of this abusive contact has to do with discrimination, but in many cases, it does.
When Verbal Harassment Involves Discrimination
A few years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Swift Aviation Group in Arizona and settled out of court. The victim said he was verbally harassed based on his Turkish-Palestinian national origin and his Muslim religion. Although the victim had complained about the harassment to multiple supervisors, it grew steadily worse—and none of the man’s supervisors were able to stop the harassment. Finally, it became so severe that the man had to resign from his job.
In Illinois, a group of Hispanic janitors sued RJB Properties, Inc. and settled for $360,000 out of court. Why? Because according to the victims, the company’s employees subjected them to ethnic slurs, gave them harsher work assignments than others had, and fired the group because of their national origin. In that same case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that the company retaliated against two African-American supervisors who refused to fire Hispanic employees based on the company’s vice president’s directives.
These cases are too common—and things like these are happening in Glendale, Los Angeles, and the surrounding communities every day. If it happens to you, get in touch with a local employment lawyer immediately; you could be entitled to financial compensation that helps make up for what you’ve been through (and your future loss of wages).
Do You Need to Talk to a Verbal Harassment Lawyer in Glendale?
If you need to talk to an attorney about something that’s happened to you, call us right away at 818-659-8324 or 800-774-4163, or get in touch with us online. We’ll evaluate your case and begin developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.