Many workers' compensation claims involve physical injuries. However, you can still make a claim if your working environment makes it difficult to execute your duties comfortably. Here is what you need to know when filing a claim based on a hostile work environment.
Who Is Capable of Fostering a Hostile Workplace?
Offensive behavior or a hostile work environment doesn't have to come directly from your employer. The offender can be one of your coworkers, your boss, or an employee of your firm. A non-employee can also create a hostile work environment. These include contractors and regular visitors. Consequently, anybody in your workplace has the ability to create a hostile environment.
How Should You Act in a Hostile Work Environment?
The first thing you should do if you are working in a hostile work environment is to confront the offending person. Ask them to stop the discriminatory behavior. Also, seek help from Human Resources or higher management.
Ensure you document each step you take. This will be proof you tried your best to resolve the situation. If the problem persists without intervention, you should take your case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or file a workers' comp claim.
Sometimes the employer may retaliate against claims of discrimination. This means you could be subjected to more aggressive attacks after reporting the matter to your superiors. Since it is illegal for an employer to take negative action against you for trying to address discriminatory behavior, record and document any disciplinary actions.
Contact your lawyer with all the documented evidence and let them help you file a workers' compensation claim.
When Should You Make a Workers' Compensation Claim for a Hostile Work Environment?
A work environment is hostile if harassment or discrimination is intolerable such that any reasonable employee would rather quit their job than continue working. To be eligible for workers' comp benefits, the hostile actions should be based on your race, age, religion, or disability.
Additionally, the actions must be pervasive. Also, you need to report these pervasive actions to your superiors. If the pervasive behaviors haven't been addressed and the actions continue, you have a valid workers' comp claim.
Lastly, the hostile conditions must be severe enough to prevent employees from performing their duties or advancing their careers. A good example is discrimination by denying employees promotions or raises.
Workers' compensation claims can be challenging, especially if your employer fails to cooperate. If you have been discriminated against because you received benefits for a workplace injury or because of your race, age, or opinions, don't hesitate to hire a workers' compensation lawyer. A reliable and experienced lawyer will not rest until justice is served.
For more information, contact a company like Weaver Law Firm.